Instead of writing that book, here I am. So far, I’ve done more research and character building than actually writing the book (which would imply I’ve written anything of contribution and I have not). I think it’s majorly important that everyone featured in the book have a good representation so if the book even takes two or more years longer to write than it would have done because of detailed and in depth research for accuracy, than I think that’s okay with me.
If I push aside the fact that I’m quite busy (and I start work experience on Monday for two weeks before my end of term holiday), one of the main reasons I haven’t been writing is self-doubt.
I continuously ignore the fact that other people are different in regards to their writing skills. Different in ages. Different in experiences. Different in chosen writing style. Different genres. There’s a whole spectrum of diversity in writing out there and comparing myself to them isn’t going to help me in the long run work on this project and actually finish it (and maybe even be proud of it).
This is my first proper writing project. I’ve written short stories as a child but, after hitting my teenage years, I started mini projects and never finished them. I even started to write on Wattpad but the support and encouragement I was receiving wasn’t enough to persuade myself that I was any good at it. Even now, I’m pretty sure I’m not, but that’s what learning is all about right? I don’t think any writer started out as immediately good at what they do. They all had to learn from somewhere.
So, what I have been doing today is gathering a list of resources that I can use to help develop a good story and I’ve also been adding onto (for this whole weekend) my main character’s profile as I have pre-developed characters already in my head but they don’t fit the type of world I want to create. I believe that no person is 100% good so I’m trying to make her as a part of my soul being released into the world, but not being completely me, and maintaining a healthy level of both bad and good characteristics.
I’m in a few writing groups on Facebook that I’m not overly fond of because they can be quite judgmental and cruel. They are also writing books I’m not fond of, where they promote harmful things (like bad representation of autism a few times. As an example, one person stated they weren’t autistic but was going to write an autistic character as a main voice. However, the problem was that they were going to use my disability as a plot twist by revealing they were autistic at the end. Originally, I thought this was good. It would give people a chance to read about an autistic person without having the idea already in their head that they are autistic and might change possible harmful opinions they have about us, however the MC would act like any ordinary human and people would play this guessing game of what is ‘wrong’ with them and be like “wow I guessed correctly, only weird people like them could act this way” or insert an equally offensive comment here, or they’d be shocked that someone so ordinary could be autistic. I could rant about why this is harmful all day but I’ll stop here). They white-wash. They produce further harmful representations. Not saying they’re all like that, but the first to comment on a post or the most engaged in the group tend to be. Which is upsetting because I want to learn from them and I would love for them to have provided me with some support, like I might have been able to do for them.
I do have a couple of writer friends though who, up until this point, I have been too scared to approach and ask for advice. Again, self doubt creeps inside my head and makes me think that it’s ridiculous I should even ask them for advice like this project is even going to go anywhere.
I think how messy this post is resembles my emotions and rounds them up quite nicely so I’ll leave it how it is.
I haven’t given up on this project. I’m determined to actually get somewhere with this one this time, but it’s not been long since I decided to write it and I just don’t see how it could help an autistic person as it’ll be so badly written they probably won’t be able to get through the first few pages.
Or maybe that’s anxiety talking.
Until next time.