Every writer has unfounded fears and unrealistic imaginings. WHY?? BECAUSE WE ARE WRITERS, OF COURSE. Our whole world revolves around the overactive imagination stashed safely in our smol skulls. Sometimes this imagination is a blessing (like when you’re plotting a FREAKING BRILLIANT book series + planning your heist to conquer the world) and other times this imagination is a curse (like when you are plagued with terrifying self-doubt + plot bunnies.)
I MYSELF HAVE A VERY OVERACTIVE IMAGINATION. And it is a blessing/curse in equal measure. The Writer’s Life™ is a difficult thing. It’s a tough business. We have nothing to work with but WORDS. And gosh are words slippery beats to reign in and teach manners to.* Thus, we (or at least I since I should SPEAK FOR MYSELF) worry over lots of “what ifs” that never actually happen.** LOTS is the subject of that sentence. Here are just a few worries that keep this writer bean up at night.
*In fact, it is clinically proven that words have exactly 000000 manners.
**But maybe it’s just me?? IDK THIS IS FROM THE GIRL WHO WILL NEARLY DIE OF A HEART ATTACK IF SHE SEES A CATERPILLER. < true story
This is actually the “what if” I MOST OBSESS OVER. In fact, I’m probably just a tiny bit INSANE because of how much I ponder this. I MEAN IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT??* I’m incredibly overprotective of my story ideas. Which means 75% of my aesthetic boards on Pinterest are hidden.** I AM THAT PERSON. I’m the paranoid writer who thinks someone is lurking in the shadows of the internet to snap up a random creative idea.
I MEAN THERE’S NO ONE WHO REALLY DOES THIS, RIGHT?? And even when I don’t share my ideas, I’m afraid some talented writer elsewhere in the universe has discovered this brilliant plot bunny as well. BUT I DON’T THINK IT WORKS LIKE THAT.
**SORRY THEY’RE REALLY FREAKING PRETTY TOO JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.
SPOILER ALERT: NO BOOK IS COMPLETELY ORIGINAL AND UNIQUE. Why?? Well, I could get into Psychology™ or I could just tell you that story ideas have been recycling since the dawn of time. It’s the series of events that makes a story unlike anything else – not the components. Essentially, a book is more than the sum of its parts. If you broke any story down to its ingredients, everyone has used some of those ingredients before. Just like with food, a chef’s original dish is not unique because of what is in it, but because of what all those ingredients become. And no, I couldn’t have made a non-food analogy. THAT’S JUST WHO I AM, YO.
This one is just dumb. You don’t suck. There’s the answer.
I don’t know about other writers, but when I plot a book it’s as if I AM WATCHING A FREAKING MOVIE IN MY HEAD. This, too, is a blessing and a curse. Because OMG WHAT IF I CAN’T WRITE IT. I can see it so clearly in my mind’s eye, I’m afraid I won’t be able to put it into words. I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it justice. I BASICALLY NEED TO BECOME A MOVIE PRODUCER/SCREENWRITER AND GET ME A ONE WAY TICKET TO HOLLYWOOD STAT.
This one is also severely dumb. THE ONLY WAY IT WOULDN’T BECOME A BOOK IS IF YOU DON’T WRITE IT. AND YOU WILL NOT BE A LOSER BECAUSE YOU ARE MOTIVATED. Right??? *nervous laughter* You’re not a loser. Or a failure. BELIEVE IT, BRO. TELL YOURSELF SOME MOTIVATIONAL STUFF.
I’m so afraid of this one, I practically hiDE UNDER MY BED FROM IT. See, plot bunnies plague me. True story: I get a new book idea AT LEAST once or twice a month. WHY???? DOESN’T MY MUSE KNOW THAT I HAVE EXACTLY NO TIME TO WRITE AS IT IS?? I love new book ideas but when I don’t tackle them right away and instead store my ideas on the back burner, I’M AFRAID I WON’T BE EXCITED FOR THEM LATER. Which is actually ridiculous because I love my plot bunnies more than THE VERY FLESH ON MY BONES. Why would I get tired of them?? (BUT WHAT IF I DO.)
REMEMBER!! A BOOK IS MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. That’s the cool thing about art – it is unique because of the touch of the artist. EVERYTHING we make is unlike anything of its kind. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying that someone else has already made the thing I want to make and IT’S TOO LATE BEFORE I EVEN STARTED. Help???
Maybe this is just a historical fiction problem but WHAT IF you write something into your book that isn’t accurate a few years from now?? EVERYONE WILL SNUB YOU AND THINK YOU’RE IMMATURE. Right? WHAT IF TOMORROW WE DISCOVER THAT DINOSUARS WERE ACTUALLY VERY LARGE PENGUINS AND NOW YOUR WHOLE BOOK IS RUINED???? Obviously my middle name is Unrealistic.
This one is almost as dumb as thinking you suck at writing.
THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Like I said before, we all create stories out of the same ingredients. Of course there are LOTS of ingredients out there. But it’s also a small world. So don’t be surprised if someone else uses strawberries in their dish. THEY MADE A THREE LAYER STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE AND YOU MADE STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA. Completely different!! (Also I just made myself really hungry.) The point is: you can’t be WORRIED ABOUT EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN. Why?? Because you’ll never just DO YOUR ART AND BE HAPPY. I clearly still need to learn this lesson.
Can you add to this list?? What are some of the unrealistic fears you worry about in your Writer’s Life? Have any of them actually come true?? Not sure if I want you to answer that one tbh. How do I stop obsessing over this???? *NERVOUS LAUGHTER*