Scribbles #1: Wrestling with writing
And my favourite YA fantasy book this month.
Thoughts on writing
Is writing always this hard? To be specific: is creative writing always this hard?
I’ve been blogging for years. I used to write tons of scripts when working as a radio news editor and presenter. Now, I churn out content nonstop in my day job as a copywriter.
And I am writing this newsletter.
So I think it’s safe to say that I can write. And I enjoy writing.
But why oh why does writing a novel feel so different and difficult?
The funny thing is, I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. From aspiring authors to award-winning ones, most writers seem to agree that birthing a book is an arduous, mentally challenging process.
And we often go through a phase (or phases, lots and lots of phases) where we doubt ourselves so severely, believing that our work, our idea, our very selves, is horrible.
What’s even funnier? The fact that we still want to write a book. And we’re still willing to put ourselves through the darkest writing hell, in hopes that we will somehow see the light at the end of the tunnel—and have our tears, fears and frustration result in a rectangle thing called book.
Because we can’t not do it.
Personally, I’ve told myself so many times that I’m going to give up. Oh yes. Today is the day I’m going to accept the truth. I’m not going to write a book. It’s too hard; my idea’s not original enough; my brain’s no good with all the plotting stuff; why even try?
And yet. The thought of giving up kills me even more than the difficulty of writing does.
So I’ve come to accept that I have to write. I need to write. And I will die trying.
(Well, hopefully it won’t come to that point.)
Turning to the art side
In the past few weeks, I pulled out my acrylic and oil paints from the closet, and dabbled in abstract art. It’s been an interesting journey, for sure. Creating abstract art is definitely a different experience from figurative art.
I’ve also decided to give gouache another go.
I tried gouache out a bit last year, but couldn’t quite make up my mind about it. I thought it a confused medium—feels like watercolours, paints like acrylics, looks like oils.
But that very same reason is now drawing me back to it. And this time, I’m going to give myself more time to get acquainted with gouache.
Books, books, books
My favourite YA fantasy book this month? Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer.
It’s the second book in a series, and when I read book #1, Defy the Night, I was hooked. Invested. Captivated.
And it was the same with this book #2.
I couldn’t. Put. It. Down. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it after finishing it. It was beautifully written, and I was completely immersed in the world. Plus, the tension that rolled off the pages! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
I loved the characters (oh, Corrick and Harristan) and the story kept me guessing. But, the cliffhanger!!!
I guess the only thing I’m not happy about is the fact that I now have a long wait ahead of me for book #3.
Since it’s spooky October (not that I read these books because of Halloween), I also read The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, and I’m currently going through Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne.
All the other stuff
I’m sorry for not updating my Stories of Yore podcast. I haven’t been in the right headspace, and at the moment, I think I only have enough mental determination to push through a handful of things! And so, the podcast will have to take a backseat for now.
Jax’s song, Like My Father, never fails to put tears in my eyes. Such moving lyrics.
Speaking of music: Like this amazing lady, I used to play this exact Pirates of the Caribbean song on the electone. I really do miss playing the electone.
One of my favourite Substackers is Letters of Note. If you love reading other people’s letters (often famous people ;)), you should definitely check this out.
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