When it comes to writing stories, I am never at a loss for an idea.
Sure, I can despair when I can’t imagine how to get my characters out of a particular situation, be it a dragon’s cave or a skyscraper of the future, but if you were to wake me up in the middle of the night and ask for a brand new story idea, I could come up with something new in a minute.
I suppose I’m bragging in saying that, but that’s how it feels to be me. Really, it’s a beg for pity. I can never scrape together the tenacity and creativity to stay with a project until its completion. It is much easier for me to move on to something new.
As you might think, I have about 26 half finished stories that will need to be finished someday. Probably not tomorrow, but someday.
I’ve got fairy tales, space operas, romances, comedies, teenage dramas, and morality plays collected in my junk drawer of half completed story ideas, all waiting on standby for me to come and finish the work.
And yet, still, with all of this behind me, I am always hesitant to sit back down at my desk and write. The desktop screen can stare at me like the bright eye of a cyclops, but my fingers will always tremble on the keyboard.
I’m not afraid for a lack of ideas, or even of having ideas that just aren’t any good. The world of entertainment can show you how successful a poor idea can be. Have you thought about superhero movies for a serious second? It would be a serious change of pace if they had a plot. (I’m joking. Infinity War made me cry.)
If one stops to think for a moment, there is no clear divider to separate a good idea from a bad one. Who can stoop to say that an idea about superpowered individuals who are friends is a better story idea than a man metamorphosing into a giant beetle in his sleep? Or for that matter, vice versa?
(I mean between superheroes and the Metamorphosis, but while we’re talking about it, a giant beetle turning into a man sounds pretty cool.)
The world is rife with ideas that are not good, but have done well for themselves. Or, more rather, the world is rife with bad ideas that have been done well.
Say what you will about the plots of Marvel’s movies, but it cannot be denied that overall, they have masterfully executed ideas and stories with class, talent, and originality. In short, they did well with ideas that could be called stupid. I know for darn sure they did better with their stories than I could have.
And that’s what makes my fingers tremble.
I’m concerned that I don’t have the skill or ability to do a story I might write justice.
Of course, some of this emotion is subjective. I think every writer feels that the idea he’s working on is so good that it needs a master’s touch. That his story, if only seen by the world, would change everything (maybe even the writer’s bank account) for the better. Sometimes the writer even feels that the only master good enough to work on his story is himself. And this comes closer to the truth. The person best fit to work on our own stories can be no one but ourselves. There is no one who can write your story (or mine for that matter) with the fine shades and touches as we can. We may fear our own inabilities, but there is nothing we can do but become better at writing. For this, I know of nothing as good at practice.
That’s why I’m here, writing. I need the practice, and maybe you’ll read something you think is interesting. 😉
Thanks so much for reading! Your continued readership means more to me than I’m able to express. -BW