Lately I’ve been procrastinating from my Zel novel, which is a problem. While I’ve written just over 7,000 words already, and I’m really proud of those three chapters, over the past few days, I just haven’t been able to get myself to start writing Chapter Four.
It’s in part because I have no idea what’s going to happen next. But that’s never stopped me before. I’ve written plenty of words and chapters and scenes that are absolutely meaningless because I didn’t have a single idea about what to do next.
The other part of my problem is that my first three chapters turned out great. I planned them, and they actually turned out well. And that’s set a precedent for the rest of my chapters, when that’s not what I should be worried about.
What I really should be worried about is just writing down some “first draft bilge”, as my dad calls it.
Yes, it’s good to have high goals. But it’s not good to have goals that are so high you can’t ever achieve them, or that you’ll feel like a complete and utter failure if you don’t reach them.
It’s like my grades at school. I’m a straight A student, and that’s what’s expected from me. Not just from other people, but most of all from myself. I’ve told myself over and over again that I’m an A student, and the sad thing is that I would probably go way overboard with emotional stuff if I got a B in a class.
But it goes beyond just the grades. I can’t turn an assignment in late–I just can’t. So even on projects when I have absolutely no time to get anything done because of this and that going on, as well as my procrastination, and so on and so forth, I have to finish them the night before. So I stay up late and work as hard as I can just so that I can know it’s in on time, even in classes where late work is accepted.
Tests, oral reports, quizzes, whatever it is, I worry and stress over it way more than is needed. Yeah, grades are important, school is good, but it shouldn’t completely take over my life.
My writing of this novel is starting to go in that direction. I’m starting to feel like this chapter has to be good, and that thought has stopped me from writing it. I don’t want to mess up what I’ve already done and make the story terrible.
But what good is a story that isn’t told?
Everyone makes mistakes, in every aspect of life. It’s not something we can stop or change, and it extends even to writing.
I’m going to write Chapter Four, even if I have absolutely no idea what to write it about, because I don’t want to get stuck in this thought process that it all has to be good. Maybe it’ll turn out bland, but that’s okay. I’m supposed to enjoy and love this experience of writing, and I want to tell this story.
So I will.