|I just discovered your post in newsfeed and decided to see what you share here at Writing.Com. I stumbled upon this and you inspired me to be a bit of the cheerleader sort today. (Not my strong suit, since I'm a bit of a self-defeating person with idealist goals coupled with coping mechanisms to survive)
Everything you're saying is common and ordinary to almost every writer at this website and throughout the world. We all doubt ourselves before giving ourselves a try. It's normal. And you might be denying the fact that you know that already, and are self-defeating.
I think we are all afraid to try because it might mean failure. But somebody told me once that I fear because I might be successful. That struck me as an odd thing to say, but it came from a professional and knew what they were talking about.
I think the problem is the focus. We keep doubting ourselves, that there is some kind of shame hanging over for even considering trying. That we could be so bold as to assume we could become published writers. And there is that stigma that trying to become a novelist is a pipe dream, a waste of energy, something that someone who is jobless idles over instead of earning an honest living. Maybe, that's jealousy. These notions of troubled writers discount the talent and a dream being paired together as one. And if you ever consider the possibility that you could do it and have spent time thinking about it, then the time to act is immediately and don't look back.
I think we just need to put our best self forward and appreciate the process and not think too much about the future. While it is good to have an outline and goals for what you write, isn't it more fun to discover what you're writing as you're doing it? Because you might have an outline, but then things can change. Why overthink it? I hear you saying that you worry what fans of your fiction will feel about what you do to your characters. That is not your problem, you are creating a dilemma to postpone your desire to write. Again, this is normal. We all make excuses not to put our best foot forward. Forget what others will think. Do it for you. Accomplishment is the ultimate reward, not publication.
Something inspires you to dream about this. Keep surrounding yourself with the literature that you enjoy and keep writing your fiction, your outlines, your dream journals and watch it come to fruition. Windows open up to writers who continually pen their thoughts, their mind sketches, into a forced reality. And before you know it, the characters are taking over for you.. Windows open up. And before you know it the characters are taking over for you. The moment you stop and look back and wonder if what you were doing is right, is the moment you are lost. Keep your eyes on the horizon and keep things in front of you to work toward. Instead of looking back or supposing what the voyage will be like, just put your ship on the water and start to drift. Discover the thrill of that open water. You'll get there.
It won't be a perfect process. Like any story it will be a journey with hiccups. You can't plan for mistakes and self-correct as you're going. That is what editing is for. Do not self-edit before you write. Wait until you're done and see what you've got. If you worry too much about the structure of your sentences, and the value of your words, you might as well not try. Because you need to get the structure down before you can start filling with those beautiful words and sentences that seem to divine their way into the crevices of what you construct.
From what little I've read, I know you are capable. You learn as you go. You put in the effort, you'll see rewards daily. You'll have days that will seem a set back. Take solace. Don't fret. Eyes on the horizon. Allow yourself to dream, believe. Things will always get in the way. Some you'll have to go around. Don't back up, don't stop. And, if you need it, you have my permission to create as much lifeless writing as you want and share it. It's not the measure of your talent I see, but how big you can dream. I admire a person who puts them self out there in spite of doubters, disbelievers. If it's you that gets in way, it's normal. But acknowledge it's you and not some unknowable force. Then, write more.
you can find encouraging stories out there. Surround yourself with the uplifting messages. If something in your gut is sickened by that, know it is fear. Fear of success. Obsess about that. Because it is something you should not fear. The audacity to dream to write should not bear shame. You can do this. Anyone can, but especially you, if you allow yourself to succeed.
PS -- If you feel overwhelmed now with all the free time to write, don't beat yourself up. JK Rowling has writers' backs during this crisis, lashing back an a motivational speaker bullying people on Twitter for wasting time right now:
"Implying that people are lazy or unmotivated if they aren't knocking out masterpieces daily isn't inspiration, it's a form of shaming. If endless distraction cured depression, no rich person or workaholic would ever have killed themselves. Sadness and anxiety aren't weaknesses /1
they're a natural human response to difficulty and danger. Allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, and acknowledging that we have good reason to feel that way, is a better route back to good mental health than beating ourselves up for not being superhuman. /2"
It's been proven that these unusual circumstances are actually forcing our brains to stress and go into survival mode. It's not unusual to feel even more pressure right now.
Side note: Typically I would associate this review for the WDC Angel Army, but I went rogue this month and am selfishly reviewing just for myself. No affiliation. All opinions are my own.
I'm circumpolar reviewer, a lone star here . And, I can be that bold.