I don’t know if anyone is completely confident with what they write or are motivated twenty-four-seven to write. If you are then congratulations, if not I think its something that will improve but won't ever go away.
I do think that most aspiring writers suffer the same problems with confidence and motivation. For me personally it boils down to most of the time I have no confidence in writing and on short occasions I have a lot.
In the times of no confidence I just try to forget everything and everyone and just write for myself. The moment you start thinking what other people will make of it and comparing it to greater works - its ruined. Just go with your instincts and shut out everything else.
I’d like to think I have high standards when it comes to stories and being critical. So if I can make myself happy then that’s the first obstacle out the way and for me the most important.
An example of a clash between high and low confidence was with a short drama script called Brother Sleep - began with the best of intentions this summer. Its about a ten year old boy who feels the victim of some injustice in the world but doesn’t know any better.
At the beginning of the summer I returned to the initial idea and it felt great and I felt confident about it. It would be like another Narratives. So I had a blitz on that but then it stopped. I’d gave everything in the idea and then had nothing more to give. Also the story and what happened had been devalued the more I thought about it and worked on it. So instinctively I blamed the idea for not being good enough and keeping my interest. So the confidence plummeted and I left it.
This I’ve found happens with a lot of ideas - I give it my all, leave it, feel bad about it and then return to it a later date. But this time I felt like I could write it all in one go. I felt that confident. So weeks past and I felt pretty sad that I’d done a one eighty on the project.
‘You always kill the things you love.’
That’s I what I thought I did. But a month later a new thought on it sparked off another train of ideas that lead to that return in confidence and motivation. I’m still on that high with it even though I’m on a break from it, which is great. The scene breakdown awaits adapting.
What I gathered from this was that in most cases having low confidence in yourself and your writing boils partly down to all these great ideas that stay for awhile and then go. Or those great ideas that go nowhere. Its bound to knock your confidence each time. But its not your ability that needs questioning.
‘Every idea has a time.’
Tarantino said it best - in relation to his written opening scene of Kill Bill (he’d left for four years) - 'it was left in a draw and has been building up ever since.' And when he went back to it - it had built up so much, it was all there in his mind and was ready to be written.
In no literal comparrison - this is true for all those projects i was so confident and determined to write at the beginning of the summer. Some have returned and others are waiting for their time.
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