Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I have abandoned it. I had been working on it for the past one month. It’s been six weeks since I haven’t touched it. Would I be able to resume it? How could I do justice to the story, now, after such a long time of discontinuation? I do have some notes made from the times, while I worked on the stuff. I do not think those notes are of any help, anymore, though.
It is clear to me how vague the classification of writers would be if I categorized them based on such feelings as above. A writer, at almost all stages of his or her growth feels this way. Most of those super-successful writers may not experience it the same way, because they have the ability to pursue writing without bothering much about another day-job, but apparently have other issues that affect them the same way.
If writing gives a person immense pleasure or joy, and the person is forced to work in a bakery in order to make a living, the resulting conflict could damage the mental equilibrium of that person. Those person(s) who have no aptitude for working in a bakery, when forced to compromise their psychological ecosystem with the sophistication of an altogether different system of things, creative writing suffers. This is when one feels; “Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I have abandoned it.”
The fear for being not able to do justice to one’s work of a lifetime deserves wise handling. If not, it will consume the writer, wholly. The totality of all fears has their common grounding in the unknown. In the case of the above-mentioned writer (let us call him Paul), the unknown part is the quality of his work. Paul does not know and fears this fact: how would it all turn out to be. How could I do justice to the story now, after such a long time of discontinuation?
In order to undo the fear of the unknown, the simplest method can be the Jungian concept of assimilation of psychic realities. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was a German psychoanalyst, whose groundbreaking theories on human mind, guided the world into a modern-renaissance. He argues about a specific course of action through which a human being can bring out the contents of his unconscious and experience it in the conscious level in order to alleviate the pressure from the unconscious side.
This same method is useful in undoing the fear for the unknown in Paul’s case. If Paul is uncertain of the results his work could bring him after a considerable gap in the process of writing, he should first, look at the results. There is only one way he can get the result—by completing the work. Paul just needs some gut feeling to cross the initial fear.
If one is stuck with the fear of how the work would turn out to be, the possibility of writing a book or a story is obliterated entirely. It is up to you to take that step courageously. Your work deserves to be born, simply because you have such strong feeling for it. Let your fears not obligate the stopping of your creative work.
Anu Lal is the author of Wall of Colors and Other Stories. He lives in Kerala, South India. He blogs at The Indian CommentatorYou can catch up with him in Facebook too.