Writing: I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

I spend much of my time writing. I write furiously. I edit with no abandon. I’ve been at it for almost a full three years and spend my time not writing, reading to understand what works and what doesn’t. I’ve watched my writing transform. In the early days it was coherent, but often composed in a way that confused readers. Now, my writing generally isn’t confusing. The grammar has greatly improved. Yet, I still always feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

That’s right, three years in and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to writing. I mean I get the gist. I understand I am on the right track. Heck, I even know that there will never be a time when I can stop learning. There’s always more to learn. Every few months, I master another skill and pick up a new problem area to address. This evolution has changed my writing. However, this constant revolving door of learning skills leaves me thinking that I’ll never figure out what needs to be done to be successful. In the early days, I struggled with grammar. My grammar wasn’t atrocious, but it had problems. Then my problem was my sentence structure and it’s repetitive nature. Then I needed to work on showing more (though this statement confuses me as it clearly means different things to different people). Now, I’m desperately working at showing emotions which is difficult to me. I like subtlety, but it seems I need to be more blunt.

My point is, even as I get better, I’m still swimming. I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t think I ever will. That isn’t going to change. What matters is that I never give up.

Last night, I spent a lot of time thinking. I realized the kind of people that I surrounded myself in my life. The people who faded from my life were people who didn’t have goals. People who were content with how things were. People who went with the flow. People who may have had dreams, but they were dreams not goals because no actions were taken to make them a reality. I am a person who doesn’t have dreams, but goals. I may not know what I am doing half the time, but I know what I am working toward. I’m working to accomplish my goal. I’m writing and working on my craft to be published one day. That is my goal and writing as much as I can, learning as much as I can, and never giving up hope are the steps I am taking to reach that goal.

I have a book case filled with books to the point that the top is covered with books as well. All those books, all those authors have accomplished the goal I wish to achieve. I look at those books and I’m inspired. It makes me want to work harder. However, as of yet I have nothing to show for my efforts. That needs to change. I want to be able to place my own book with the others on my bookcase. I want to be able to say I did it. Writing and learning is only part of the process. They are the never ending parts that will continue long after I reach my goal. In order for me to accomplish my goal, I need to step out of my shell and I need to put my stories out there. I need to stop keeping them tight to my chest for no one to read. I may fail. Actually, I’m sure that I will fail. But I won’t allow myself to fail forever. One day I will make it, you can count on that. Even then I doubt I’ll have any idea of what I’m doing.

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