Whenever I walk into a store, specifically a store that sells movies, books or games, I always know I’m going to be disappointed. I will spend half an hour perusing through the promotional displays and inventories expecting to find something that will rip my eyes right out of their sockets and say to me “hey, I’m interesting, buy me.”
That never happens.
I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I don’t have an open mind. We all have our comfort zones and I’m starting to believe that mine is a two bedroom apartment that I’m afraid to paint because I might hate the new colors five minutes after the paint is dry. When did I become so stubborn when it comes to trying new things? Is it really because I’m getting older or is it because I’m not willing to take the time or the “risk” to venture outside and into the unknown world of my Netflix and Amazon recommendations?
These thoughts have been bombarding my brain recently and I’m curious as to whether or not it’s affecting my writing as well. Do I just write what’s safe and familiar? Do all my stories and sentences sound the same? Would anyone be surprised to learn that I wrote that short story? Should I care whether or not they’d be surprised? These are all questions that I find just a little worrisome because it ultimately means one thing: I am insecure with my writing.
I don’t think any writer is 100% happy with their work, especially not all of it, but shouldn’t I at least be happy with some of it? I constantly find myself re-reading my works and saying to myself that there are too many sentences that begin the same way or that all my characters sound the same. It gets to a point where I start thinking that every story is just an extension/expansion of the story I wrote before it and that’s not a comforting thought. I don’t mind re-using certain ideas or concepts from previous pieces of work, but I don’t want to copy and paste my way through a book.
They say “the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.” I suppose this is where I go “I’m Garrett and I have a closed mind,” but I don’t think we really need to do that whole shtick.
So where am I planning to go from here? I think I’ll take it one day at a time. I’m not going to say I promise to try one new thing a day, but I will promise that every once in a while I’ll read a book from an author I usually wouldn’t give a chance or I’ll go to a new restaurant that serves a style of food I’ve never had. And when it comes to my writing, I’ll think the best thing I can do is share it with as many people as I can and talk to them about it. I need to be more open if I want to grow as a writer and I don’t want to be insecure about my writing.
At least not as much as I am now.