The greatest obstacle for writing stories

It is now a little over a year ago that I decided I want to try my hand at writing Sword & Sorcery. It seemed like the perfect medium and genre for me. It has all the things that entertain me the most and most works are either single stories or short novels, which is a form particularly well suited for my habit of rarely beeing able to stay commited to a creative work for longer than a week or two at a time. Still, I have not produced a single thing yet.

It has not been completely in vain, though. I’ve been learning a lot about the basics of good storytelling and read a good number of books that both gave me a lot of good ideas for what I might write about, what kinds of elements in particular I enjoy, and how they work and are best used in practice. I feel much better prepared now than I used to be a year back.

But there is one big thing that is always holding me back and keeps me from really digging into the actual work. And it’s a silly one. My ideas are too good. Or at least, I like my ideas too much and I don’t want to waste them now when I will obviously write a first dozen or so stories that will be really terrible, They are great ideas I want to save up for when I am good enough to do them right.

Unfortunately, that kind of thinking doesn’t get you anywhere. I had actually started working on three stories so far, but knowing that they will be junk nobody will read, I didn’t really care about them or had any motivation to try making them good. And practice does not make perfect. It only does when you’re able to see where you made mistakes and which attempts to improve worked out and which didn’t. If you don’t even care if it will be good, you’re not going to learn anything from it. You’re only training yourself bad habits that you have to learn to stop later one.

So I am stuck, searching for ideas that are good enough to make me want to make them good, but also not so good that I want to save them for later.

One thought on “The greatest obstacle for writing stories”

  1. Write them up anyway. A good editor can work wonders towards making your story what you want it to be. Get it down. Get out the hate for how terrible you think it is, then revise, revise, revise! Somewhere in that process the loathing will become pride.

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