I spent all night wibbling and having a discussion with my neurotic side. I hate it when that happens. The conversation went something like this:
-Not everything you write has been or will be fried gold. You know this. Get over it. You're still learning. That's okay. No. Seriously. Let this one go. Don't spend all night fretting about it. You're still learning. I don't want to hear any more of this. No.
-I want to write brilliance! I want to write. I want. I want.
-I want to sleep. Sometimes what we want and what we get are not one and the same. Hell, sometimes what we need and what we get aren't one and the same. Like, for instance, when we need sleep.
-I think I could be very good. In time? Or maybe not? Maybe I'm fooling myself? Maybe what I think are encouraging signs are actually not? I think I might suck. Actually, you know, I think I probably do.
-Seriously. Shut up. Yes, some of what you have written sucks. I know it. You know it. But that doesn't mean you suck. And, you know, different people have different tastes - just because others don't like what you write doesn't mean you're bad, it just means...
-How can I TELL how bad or good I am if no-one tells me?
-There's an art to the madness, there's a science? You're critically aware. And people do tell you - all the damn time. You're just too stupid to see it, to believe it.
-Even you think I'm stupid. I do suck. Oh God, why do I have to suck? Why can't I be good?
AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.
Just in case you were ever harbouring illusions that I'm a fully adjusted human being.
It's like... I've got all of these different elements and I can see them - I know they're there. It's just getting them all together and slotting them into place which is the difficult part. I don't think I write badfic - my command of spelling, for one thing, is slightly too refined for that (although I came across the wrong hoard/horde the other day and almost died, holy hell.) I just don't think I write really excellent, sock them in the face great fiction. And I really want to. I really want to tear someone's heart out. Or make them laugh until it hurts. I basically just want to cause people pain - as much as possible. I want a decent plot which works and description which is seamless - not too simplistic, not too florid (the balance has still not been found and it eats away at me) - and dialogue which is true, but interesting and not too clichéd or trite. I want cause, effect, emotion, reaction. I want everything in one place all at once.
I am still learning. I have learnt. Eventually, who knows, I might get there. At least I am trying. I can see all of this and it is hope, it really is. I have problems, I've identified them - this is step one on the improvement ladder. I'm at the very beginning of this, so the whole fretting thing is both useless and annoying. Yet still, I fret. I sit and have motivational pep talks. I slowly sink into the depths of the darkest recesses of my mind, convincing myself that the little voices which tell me I suck are the only truthful ones in there.
YOU LIVED IT, YOU CAN'T UNLIVE IT!