Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle
myaru

100 Things #018: Writing blocks, and the fear of thinking

When I think of writer's block (that thing which supposedly doesn't exist), I imagine what I went through in 2010: a complete lack of motivation to write, an inability to string five words together in a way I thought was decent, and a trend in which everything I managed to finish was awful. This sort of thing understandably makes me stop writing for a while. It's miserable. I've learned not to hate everything I write as a rule, so when my mental state starts backtracking into that territory, I know something is wrong. It took me a while, but I figured out that stopping was the only way to get past this for me, personally.

There's also the sort of block that involves not knowing what to do next. That one sucks too, but I think it's the easiest to break through, because the problem can be solved by continuing to work on the story-- just in a different way. Researching, reading, discussing with friends (if you're not as paranoid as I am, see the last entry), and all that.

The one that gets me every time is probably a type of fear. Not fear of doing badly, or of what people will think, or of failure, or of success... but of thinking. At all. And then of putting that thing on paper.

Years ago, Arcana and I decided to co-write on a story about angels. I love angel lore. He had just read some related material. In addition, some weird combination of Star Ocean II, Angel Sanctuary, and Vagrant Story had me itching to write some Lucifer/Gabriel fic, which may (or may not?) sound strange to you, but it worked wonders in my head, I assure you. (This was a long time ago. A REALLY long time ago, mmkay. It's a bit embarrassing to talk about, or at least this particular fixation is. :P)

We both eventually stopped working on the project. Only, I would revisit the universe sometimes and write new snippets, because my obsession with angel lore hadn't ended, and I liked the characters we had created. I think we had a really good plot hook, too. So one day, probably for some daily writing challenge, I came up with this story about Raziel asking Metatron to go down to earth and be human with her for a while so she could do some research, and this turned into a thing where she really liked him, which turned into a, well, a THING, and then my brain shut down.

If you don't know, the body of legends involving angels makes clear that sex is a Very Bad Thing for them to do, and they're not supposed to have desires of any kind. Yet while Lucifer (Samael, in our story) and Gabriel didn't bother me, Metatron and Raziel did. Does Samael's status as a fallen angel make it "okay" to be in love and have sex and all that, even though Gabriel's stint as fallen isn't very long or serious, and therefore shouldn't make it more "okay" for her than any other angel? Metatron was originally Enoch, according to legend - a human. So he knows more about being human - and being in love, theoretically - than Raziel every could; is it the disparity of experience that made me uncomfortable? (Clearly not, considering some of the pairings I got into with later fandoms.)

What I'm getting at with this anecdote is that I still run into a block when I try to imagine this story. For whatever reason, I do not want to go there: I don't want to transgress on some imaginary moral ground and write about angels doing it together. It's like I'm afraid of what they'll think when they find out, even though I'm not 100% sold on their existence as independent beings. Even if they did exist, I suppose they wouldn't give a shit. Maybe I've just been indoctrinated by years of listening to my grandmother watch television evangelists, and some part of me is afraid of committing a mortal sin by writing two angels boinking. I lol just thinking of it that way.

It may sound stupid, but this is the strongest block I've ever run into. Nothing else is stopping me; I have the plot, I know the characters at least as well as the game characters I used to write about, I have the history of the world mapped out in all the ways that matter for writing this little story, and all I have to do is start typing.

If you asked me, I'd say no: I'm not religious. I don't think the Bible is true, any more than I think the myths about Greek gods are true. I believe in God because I want to, and because my family, brought up Catholic, put that little bit of fear in me that says I'm damned if I don't. But if that tiny fear is the source of my block, it's no wonder I have such a problem getting over myself. That runs back pretty far.

Some people are afraid of what their readers will think of them because they write from the POV of a murderer or pedophile. Me? I'm afraid of what imaginary beings will think of me for writing them into what is essentially fanfic.

I'm laughing, even though it's kinda sad.

This entry was originally posted at https://myaru.dreamwidth.org/829912.html. Discuss here or there as you prefer.


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Tags: challenge: 100 things, public: writing
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