The more research I do, the more my goals in life scare me. The odds of achieving success in this field seem more frightening than inspiring. Yet I can’t let that scare me off, even knowing how much work lies ahead, because I want this so much I can’t imagine not doing this.
I keep asking myself why anyone would want to read anything I write. I suppose this is a common self doubt that most authors experience at some point. The main question I have has to be this: How do I overcome that self doubt, or how might I use it as motivation to spur me forward rather than allowing it to drag me down?
In college I studied both writing and philosophy. Both were writing intensive, and both required me to ask a lot of basic questions. In philosophy, however, I think I adopted the wonderful, though sometimes terrifying habit, of asking so many questions that my brain temporarily overloads. It can be great for the creative process that is storytelling, provided the seemingly endless list of questions can be managed.
I think a key thing that makes a story interesting to readers is raising provocative questions, or setting up a scenario that lends itself to speculation. The plot should be unique, or the characters should at least be dynamic. We need to care about the people in the story, we need to genuinely wonder what will happen to them. And as I write, I continually ask myself how to get to that point. If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s asking questions.
I just hope I’m asking the right ones.