Mental Block

I have this strange mental block when it comes to writing fiction.

Creative non-fiction is my adopted genre. I only discovered it was a thing in January of this year, but it was one of those revelatory moments that simply put a name to the kind of thing I’d been trying to write all my life. Since then I’ve taken two classes in creative non-fiction and I have a growing confidence in my skills in that genre.

Or, to put it another way, when I sit down to write an essay, I fully believe that no matter what difficulties I’m having in finding my way in to the story, in the end I will be able to create an essay that I’m proud of. I’ve done it a couple of times, now. I know it’s possible.

When it comes to fiction, though, I just can’t do it. I start with the belief that I don’t have the ability, and I don’t know how to shake that.

I am trying, though. There’s a fiction story I’m kind of excited about. I’m still technically in the research phase, but I’ve started writing anyway. I’m worried if I don’t get started while I’m still jazzed about it, I’ll lose the magic window. Today I managed to sneak in a quick two-hour window at the coffee shop with my laptop before work. I have 700 words of the first scene, and I know what’s coming next. It’s a start.

The problem, however, is not starting the stories. The problem is finishing them. Or maybe, the problem is believing I can finish them. The only solution I can think of, though, is to keep trying. Maybe if I keep plugging away and don’t think about it too much, I’ll surprise myself? That’s the best I can come up with for now.

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