I didn’t have a chance to write a post yesterday, but I was thinking about writing a lot, if that counts for something! I realized that I’ve still been letting fear dictate the story, and even genre, that I planned on writing. I was trying to go for a story I thought I could write in a month rather than write what I really want. So I’ve decided on a genre change. Fantasy is what I really want to write the most, so fantasy it is. The same things apply. It’s still fine to write a bad story!
One hangup for me has been not wanting to write about something in the world I’ve been building if I didn’t know it’s what I wanted for that world. But it doesn’t matter! If I write a rough draft and decide I want details to change, well, that’s what the other drafts are for.
I love what Neil Gaiman has to say about mistakes:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
I need to stop letting perfectionism and fear keep me from writing. I need to write, and need to write from the heart without being afraid of making mistakes. I’m trying to figure out how to let myself do that and write a whole novel next month. I have a few vague glimmerings of ideas for stories. As I let those simmer in the back of my mind, I’m finding some of my favorite high fantasy stories to read again as inspiration. I have a couple of fantasy worlds (which may end up being different parts of the same world; I’m still not sure) that I’ve started building, and I may use one of those. Or I might pick a fairy tale to retell. There are so many possibilities, and really, it won’t be wrong. It can be whatever I want, so why fear failure? As I try to find my story, I’m trying to let myself relax, lock up my perfectionist, and just write beautiful things because I love it. And I need to write.