I have never considered myself to be very good at coming up with my own ideas. I wrote Star Wars fan-fiction for years, as well as imagining ridiculous ways to insert a new character into my favorite TV shows that I happened to be PERFECT to play. (I wanted to be an actor when I was younger.) But coming up with my own stories to tell, with original characters, conflicts and settings? That a lot harder.
Eventually I grew out of the 'acting' bug (well...mostly anyways) and for years I have been fantasizing about being a writer. At first, I was scared that I would only ever really come up with one good idea. At the time I had an idea for a story that I thought was really good. I was daydreaming about the characters and the conflict quite a bit, imagining how things would play out. But I never wrote the story. If I had written it down, I thought, then that was it. I'd be done. I would never have another good story idea.
As time has passed, it's become obvious that particular fear is absolutely baseless. I've had a pretty good number of story ideas during that time. I would even hazard to say that the more recent ideas are better, or even significantly better, than the early ones. Funny how that works.
But I still haven't written any of them down as anything more then brief notes or a rough outline.
Because I'm still terrified.
Terrified that I won't be any good. That no one will like the story, or how I write it. Or even worse, that no one will even bother reading it.
But these stories keep gnawing at me, wanting to be told. And honestly I want to tell them.
I have a golden opportunity in the next two weeks. My wife and kids are going to visit my in-laws for a two weeks, starting tomorrow. I will miss them terribly, but it means I will also have almost no interruptions during non-working hours in which to write. A couple of weeks ago I had an idea for a short story that I want to write and submit to Writers of the Future. Now is the time to write it.
So, for the next two weeks, I'm going to write at least 1,000 words a day (hopefully more on the weekends). I'm going to get this story written down, and go from there.
It's time to stop being afraid and actually write.
Has anyone else wrestled with this problem? What keeps you from writing, and how do you overcome it?