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Ancient doodle of the FLEET logo

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, the not-so-benevolent FLEET ruled my ridiculous childhood sf story....

My biggest fear lately: getting stalled.

I’ve had such good inertia on the Motley Star even knowing it’s not really quality writing. But last night, I got extremely frustrated with a scene that needs to be very powerful, because it’s the start of the major crap-hit-the-fan times. I couldn’t get this argument right. I felt like everything the characters said was flawed and artificial. I felt like I needed to go back and rewrite a whole bunch of things that I knew were wrong. I got stressed and got so angry and frustrated if this had been on paper, I probably would’ve torn the pages out of the book. Instead I just punched my chair and swore and saved the file and worked out even though it was eleven pm.

I refuse to give up on this story. It’s a hot mess right now and I need to just know it’s a hot mess. It’s not good science fiction and it’s lousy adventure and it’s really not very coherent.

It’s a first draft.

I need to get over that. Trust that I’ll polish it. Trust that I’ll make it better.

It’s not easy, not even remotely. I can’t really believe that it’s any good. The voice that tells me I’m a terrible writer has been getting louder and louder lately. I’ve been holding it at bay, but it’s starting to win.

Nobody likes your stories, the voice says. Nobody cares about your characters. You write people that readers hate. You can’t even tell a good mystery. You knew that “solution” at the end of D____ was crappy and you let it slide because you’re a terrible writer. You make no sense. Any reader with any sense can see right through you. You’re awful. What a hack. You can sneer all you like at writers you keep saying are “worse” but the truth is, at least they tell stories, not just extended shitty character sketches. You will never sell because you don’t know how to connect with people. You suck. You suck. You suck.

You have no skills, the voice says, echoing something someone inadvertently told me.

I have no skills, my brain repeats, and it starts to believe.

I’m trying to fight, but half the time I think the battle’s already lost.

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