Saturday, May 11, 2013


Like many creative people I am beset by feelings of inferiority, anxiousness regarding my performance, and feelings of worthlessness. It's not fun, it's not helpful.

It's the basilisk's eyes.

I killed my dream of becoming a scientist by staring so deeply at my insecurities I paralyzed myself. I effectively made myself irrelevant. Nobody else had to tell me I sucked at science; I was very good at that all on my own.

I started out writing thinking, "Oh, this'll be better. I don't feel insecure about this so it'll be better. People like my writing."

Now I'm something like 30K words in (so probably half to a third of the way through my book) and the insecurity is kicking in.

I find myself asking, will people like my story when it's done? Is it really that well written? Is this dumb? Are my characters boring, flat, inconsistent, too similar, too much like me? Is this plot going to work, or are there gaping holes that I don't see because I'm too close to this?

I've failed once. I don't want to fail again. I hate failing. I don't know if I can handle another failure. If I never get published, fine, but I want to give this writing thing a go. I may never make a living at it, I may never find an audience or success, but I just want to finish this story, make it the best I can, and get on with life.

Is that too much to ask, basilisk?

I know I can improve when it comes to writing. I know I can become a better story teller, better writer, better thinker. I never had that confidence with science. I always thought the amount of scientific ability I had was fixed, and fixed relatively low. I never felt like I improved, never felt like I was critical enough or consistent enough or creative enough. I never felt like I could find good ideas.

Writing is different for me there. I can get better, I can find and create good ideas. I can identify the places I need to get better (or find people willing to help me find them) and then focus on improving. That is a powerful thing.

Enough winging. Time to write.

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