Insecure Writer's Support Group Post!
I don't know about you, but writing for me has become this vague dream sitting behind the long awaited day I can finally proclaim (loudly and with much fanfare) "I'm a college graduate!!!!" College started for me back in 1995 (yes, I am THAT old ;)) and 18 years later, THIS MAY, I can finally say, "I'm done!" Seriously done. As in "all those ideas about going to graduate school are now flushed down the toilet because I'm so beyond sick of doing papers every week" done. But hey, if there's anything this looooooooong stint as an on again off again college student has taught me, I can always go back. Who knows? Maybe I'll got to grad school when I'm 50.
Insecurities? Yeah, I've got 'em. Who doesn't? My major just happens to be Creative Writing. Too bad I have to take all those other required courses that they claim make me a well rounded individual. The most writing I've done this year so far has been for my world literature class (and oh boy is THAT a tale in itself...but I digress). Now, my other class this term is Screenwriting. Yes, boys and girls, I signed up for a class that requires me to write a short film by the end of eight weeks. Yikes! So far, the idea is a good one, I'm just having a hard time fleshing it out.
And here comes the insecurity: There are a handful of people in this screenwriting class who are really on top of their game. I mean, these guys are always on the discussion boards talking script-smack with the professor. I jump in here and there, whenever I have an opinion, but here's the kicker: I'm not a big movie buff! I've toyed with the idea of writing a screenplay, even of doing a short film, before but I feel insecure about the whole mess because most of the people you meet who write and produce films are REALLY into films. I'm not. In fact, I think I've seen one movie on the Oscar list this year-and that one I didn't really like.
I wonder sometimes if I don't immerse myself enough, not just in screenwriting but in writing in general. I peruse blogs by people who are up to their eyeballs in information, links, query helps, and interviews and here I sit, blinking cursor all fired up, and I ... have...nothing. Nada. Zilch! I get a fresh idea (like I did yesterday) and I spend a few hours jotting it down, toying with it, and then, it fizzles. Maybe it's school. No really: when I was out for Christmas break the whole WORLD seemed brighter and I spent time each day working on projects. When I'm in school, not so much. As soon as I finish my school work for the day (which is usually a 6 hour day), I close the computer, turn on Murder, She Wrote on NetFlix and imagine all the books I should be writing.
Burn out. That's the term I'm looking for. Anyone else there? Well, here's what I've learned (thanks to school and those oh so fleeting two week breaks): It WILL pass!! Yes kids, even if all you can eek out is a few words a day, then get those few words out and rest. Take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself. The time will come when you've got your strength back and you can plow through some edits, some queries, or a brand new idea. The countdown for me has begun! April 29 is a dawning of a new world for me. Until then, I'll just be insecure in my abilities, plow through those weekly papers, and keep the embers burning on those new ideas!
Happy Wednesday everyone! Sorry I've been AWOL. That will change in 11 weeks...