On my last non-related #atozchallenge post, I answered a question that StoryDam administrator, Morgan Dragonwillow, posted on my Twitter feed. It was about what I am afraid of as a writer. You’recwelcome to read all about my fears here.
After that post, she posed another question: “What would I do if the outcome didn’t matter?” I have to admit this is a more difficult question to answer. And I think it’s because it’s human nature to dwell on all that is wrong and not think about what we’re doing right. We’re so inclined to compare ourselves to others and compare accomplishments. (More on that in a future #atozchallenge post.)
But I think the point Morgan was trying to make me see is that there is unlimited potential when we let go of our expectations. When we decide to not let fear take control of our writing lives, we can do great things. We can flex our creative muscles. We can venture into the unknown without trepidation. Does that mean being reckless? No. But I think it means we can dream big and pursue our passion for whatever it is we want to do.
So, what would I do if the outcome didn’t matter?
- For starters, I would gain confidence in my skills as a writer. I struggle with comparing myself to others, believing the lie that my abilities are inadequate. I believe that if fear didn’t hold me back, the need for comparisons would vanish. I would claim the title of writer, and shout it from the rooftops.
- I would expand into different genres of writing. There are numerous genres I find intriguing, like fantasy or romance or a detective story. If I wasn’t so worried about making the perfect standout novel, I would probably need a pseudonym for every genre I dabbled in.
- I would try my hand at fan fiction. I know of a few blogs that experiment with fan fiction. I find it fascinating that there are writers who spend so much time with a game or TV show that they’re able to take an original character and plop him into that world. Kind of like Dungeons and Dragons. If I had to choose a TV show or game to write fan fiction, it would be set in the Buffy/Angel universe. I loved those shows in its heyday, and I know of a character who would fit perfectly. (More on that in a later post.)
- I would post more short stories on my blog. This sounds like a no-brainer. I mean, this is a writing blog; there should be stories on my blog. The one thing holding me back is that I am OCD about my stories being perfect and having them get acclaim. I think if I didn’t obsess over them, I would have more stories. I would have my anthology.
- I would join a writing group and submit more stories to critique partners. Writing is perceived as a lonely profession, but it’s not meant to be. I know I need other writers to see what I don’t see in my work. Without fear to hold me back, I would submit more stories to more critique partners. I think my network of writers would expand.
- And finally, I would write more stories. Again, this may sound like an easy statement to make. But I struggle with making even short story ideas into fruition. Without the fear of outcomes, I think I would have an anthology or two, and more novels, even if an idea had the slightest inkling of being a novel.
So, that’s what I have. And there’s one more item on this list than on my last one. I guess it’s a reminder that I can do great things if fear wasn’t a factor. Knowing that, I need to run with it and write.
Write. Write. Write.