how to become the thor of creative writing (guest post by alyssa)
A writer's life is difficult. You might have writer's block and face a blank page for the entire day. You might receive negative critiques, and have no clue how to rewrite. You might even send out a dozen queries and only receive radio silence. It's not easy to create good enough art, enough art, or even art at all.
These all lead to one end point: we feel unworthy and inadequate, whether compared to the level of art we want to create, to other people, or to our own expectations.
|Even Thor couldn't lift Mjolnir for a while. (x)|
So how do we overcome self-doubt?
Thor got hit by a car twice in the first 24 hours of landing on Earth...sorry, Midgard. If a god can mess up like that, so can we.
Every time you feel dejected about your writing, tell yourself, "I am allowed to make mistakes." If you make a mistake in the first draft, you can rewrite it into a second draft. If you make a mistake in the sixth draft, you can go back to the fifth draft. (Side PSA: save all your drafts, world. You'll be glad later.) No one can foresee whether one thing will work out or no unless you try it.
Remember: it's not really a mistake unless you refuse to fix it. So once you've accepted you're not invincible, move on to solving the problem.
2. Do the things that scare you a little
There's not a lot of room for self-sacrifice in creative writing, but a blank page or a rejection letter is no less daunting than a seven-foot hunkering metal monster that shoots flames out of its rotating head. It's not easy to write until midnight or revise your query twenty times, but don't be afraid to try out new things. Rewrite in a new tense, or order takeout chocolate.
After all, the worst that can happen is that you get scared.
3. Don't be afraid to start over.
I'm not telling you to go get killed by a Destroyer and come back to life by the power of Thor. But that helpful mantra, "kill your darlings"? Often it's because your "darlings" don't deserve to be loved.
If you've tried to fix things the sane way and the insane way, maybe it just can't be fixed. Let that writing project sit for a little while, come back to it later. Show it to critique partners and betas. There might just not be a compelling story here. That's the most difficult thing: admitting it didn't work out, and you don't think it's going to.
Not everything you write has a future. Maggie Stiefvater has 34 unpublished manuscripts. There is no shame in shelving a project.
|Quote from Cap 2. Poster by Dian @ The Happy Candle.|
After all, if you can't solve your own problems, how do you expect your characters to?
Psst, don't forget to read Jo's post about Loki and great villains on my blog!
@AlyssaC_HK) is a high school student in Hong Kong. She doesn't have a day job, but at night she breathes ink and paper and Kindle. In between bouts of writing, she dabbles with laboratory bacteria and posts on her writing and book blog. She sends exclusive content to her newsletter subscribers, because who doesn't like bonus takeout?