A lot of the times I don’t write because I’m scared to.
It’s not that I’m scared to actually do the writing itself, but it’s because I’m afraid that the finished result will just completely suck. That it will be terrible. That it will make the reader want to curl up in a corner and die (and not in the “oh-my-gosh-this-book-gives-me-feels” way). That’s what I’m afraid of.
I guess this could be because I’ve never really gotten past the stage of first draft. I love to write, I really do; but I often find myself stuck and giving up after the first few bits of a story. I always feel like it’s not good enough and that it’s just not worth continuing, and then I bury it deep deep down so that it won’t be found until years later when I’m sifting through old hard drives. And then I’ll continue on to a new idea and just repeat the cycle.
Somehow I just really need to learn that it is okay for first drafts to be so absolutely atrocious that it makes you want to claw your eyes out. Of course it might not be okay for it to stay that way, but the first and foremost important item to cross off the checklist is getting something finished in the first place. After all, completing a less-than-good rough draft of a novel is better than not even getting past chapter five, right?
I want to write a novel. That’s one of my goals in life. I want to write a real, legitimate, full story that I can show others without cringing in embarrassment as they read through it. Heck, maybe if I can get through the first one I’ll aim to write another one. Or several. Either way, the only way that I’m ever going to get there is to actually start something and finish a first draft.
Drafts don’t have to be good. Drafts don’t have to be complete. Drafts don’t have to be shown to anyone. After all, that’s why they’re called drafts- not novels.