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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Getting Over It

I rewatched the Lord of the Rings movies this week.  As I watched, I was reminded and struck by the amount of detail and complexity J.R.R. Tolkien wrote into his books (and some of the more interesting and complex characters and side stories were even left out of the movie!).  I am very tempted to pick the books back up and reacquaint myself with Middle Earth.

I get down on myself as I try and write my own "epic fantasy."  I struggle at the selection of every word along the way; worried that what I write will fall flat.  As I've mentioned before, this over-critical nature does nothing to help me reach my goals.

I remind myself that I am not J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, R.A. Salvatore, J.K. Rowling, or any of the other great fantasy writers I look up to (though as a side note, I wonder if I need to change my writing name to J.R. Potnick?).  This story should stand on its own if it's worth writing at all, right? 

I guess it leads me to wonder, what standard should I be trying to write toward at this stage? Obviously, I look to other writers for inspiration, but if I keep trying to write at their level, I assume I am dooming myself to failure.  Plus, if I try and write like them, the writing comes out forced and inauthentic.

Why do the answers seem so simple to explain, yet so hard to act upon? I can tell myself that over and over, yet I continue to sit down and stall out. I write a sentence, hate it, erase it, and repeat.  Constructive writing sessions are much farther apart than I hope for.

Do other writers feel this way?  Is that what the editing process is supposed to be for? 

Thank you all for reading my wanderings from time to time.  I have found that asking questions eventually leads to answers!

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