“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” — Stephen King, On Writing
I need to get a copy of Steven King’s book. I like him as an author, and he knows what he is talking about in every review I’ve ever seen him write for a book. I just didn’t know I’d be hit this hard with his words, because I think I have found my scariest moment yet.
In high school, I took a creative writing class as a junior and senior. Same style of class, same teacher, very casual. We were given prompts for our writing assignments, and that made the job slightly easier. Now I’m a sophomore in college beginning my pursuit of an English Bachelor’s Degree as well as the Creative Writing Emphasis in Fiction by taking my first creative writing class in college. It’s labeled “Beginning Fiction”, but I am no stranger to creating genre fiction (Harry Potter-esque works) and literary fiction (or what I like to call “fiction without dragons”). We mainly worked with literary fiction in my creative writing class, possibly because we were given prompts that brought it to us, or were afraid to share our demons and warlocks with the rest of the world.
Yet now I am here in college, about to pursue my dream. And getting cold feet at the title page. I am not given a prompt, and I am only given guidelines: that it has to be original, profound, have no cop-outs, and be written for myself. If I can make myself laugh or cry or think while writing this story, then I have done my job. This is the class where I can make or break my love of writing fiction forever as I draw closer to the Emphasis. I have ideas. That isn’t the problem.
It’s possibly confidence.
And me being scared out of my mind.
What if it isn’t original? What if it isn’t profound? What does my professor know that I don’t? That he’s never seen before? Or rather, what has he seen before that I might write? And even more so… It’s a bit of a paradox. As a student I wish to give him a work that satisfies what he wants, but what he wants is for me to be satisfied with my own work. And that is a scary thought. It’s all up to me.
And this feels like one of the scariest moments in my life as a writer.
I shall see if my fears are worth it when I try to write tomorrow and find my literary voice once again.