I don't know why, but last night, I had a sudden insight. I've read advice from several authors, and read about how others do what they do. Having done this, I've tried to duplicate that. The conclusion I've just come to is: Why? Why do things the way someone else does? Why do things simply because someone says that's how it's supposed to be? The answer is: Don't.
I've been worried that I'm not writing fast enough. I've been worried that I'm not writing well enough. I've been really worried that I'm not writing something original enough. I've been an idiot. The bottom line is that no one is the same, and what works for some may not work for others. I don't stay up until all hours of the night writing unless I'm on a roll or something comes to me that I just have to get down. I also don't stay up until all ours of the night writing because I don't have kids and work to contend with, so I have a lot more free time during the day. Therefore, I have no reason to feel like a failure for not staying up all night writing! I don't write a book in a week or a month, or write 10,000 words a day because I'm still feeling out what works for me and trying to find my voice. Writing well is something that comes with practice and a LOT of editing, and I'm just getting started! Therefore, I have no reason to feel ashamed for not writing all day, every day (unless it's due to sheer laziness in which case someone, namely myself, should kick me in the ass). As for originality, well very rarely does something seemingly truly original come along. Ultimately there's so many concepts in the world that have been done and redone, just in different ways, that's its about impossible to say "I have something no one else has ever read before". I've read a a book or two recently, and read the summaries for a few others, that range from sounding remotely similar to remarkably similar to what I'm currently working on, but that doesn't mean I should give up or freak out. If anything I should take it as a good sign that at least theres a market out there for the subject matter, right?
So here's to hope! It's time for me to cowboy up (cowgirl up? -- meh) and stop being a worrywart. Exercise a little self discipline, push forward and get the story stuck in my head out on paper. Refine it, and then publish it so I can say I've shared a story that I feel so connected to with other people through something I love and have a passion for: the written word.