I was working on a scene in my short story this past weekend when a very strange thought struck me. Do I really want to use this scene in my short story already? I mused to myself. Perhaps I should save it for the future, when I finally start writing my novel. Ok ok, so it was a particular passage that I liked because it reveals a lot about myself, but come on, it wasn’t even that good to begin with. Isn’t that weird? And this wasn’t even the first time that the thought had occurred to me.
I wonder which part of my perfectly flawed personality is responsible for this most curious thought. Is it the part of me which is so delusional and detached from reality that it borders on megalomania? I’ve never written anything more than a few pages when it comes to a novel, which is why I even switched to short stories in the first place. At this stage I’m just learning to be productive and gaining experience in my craft and I’m really just happy to write anything at all. I have absolutely no right or any logical basis to want to ‘save’ a particular piece of writing which I may or may not use in a novel which I may or may not write in a future which may or may not occur and imagine how delightful it will sound to my readers which may or may not exist.
Or perhaps it is the part of me that is constantly insecure and which has very little faith in my own abilities? This is the best that I can do! Oh my god, I suck! And so I feel like I need to hoard every single piece of writing which I even remotely consider to be any good at all, and in the hope that one day I will end up with enough good material to piece together a novel. Come to think of it, this part of me is also pretty delusional, but mostly out of fear. There’s no need to fear of course. If there’s one thing I should know by now is that I am constantly improving as a writer. There’s no reason to believe that I won’t become a better writer in the future as long as I keep practicing.
Whatever the reason, can I agree with myself that this line of thinking is complete and utter nonsense? It not only hinders my progress, but it is also detrimental to the quality of my writing if I start worrying about whether I should use a certain passage not because I worry if it fits within the story but whether I should save it for the future. Besides, it implies that the story I am working on right now is somehow less important than this non-existent novel I am yet to write (or not). If the story I’m working on is really that unimportant, then why do even I work on it in the first place? And why do I think about it every day?
Now, let us ignore these absurd thoughts and just write the damn thing, shall we?