When it comes to my writing, sometimes I get caught up in trying to appease some greater power. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes (more often than not nowadays) I feel as though I need to be granted a permit from some gatekeeper that can determine if my stories are objectively good or not. I try to appease this gatekeeper be it through writing my characters a certain way or in developing the lore or culture of the world that I’m building based on what I think this gatekeeper would want to read. It sounds crazy, because it is.
While, yes, there are universal aspects to writing that make a story more appealing, such as show don’t tell. However, there’s no one right way to write. This is what I meant by the concept of a gatekeeper and my fears with appeasing them. While I’m intellectually aware of how much of a hindrance this can be, I still tend to write out of fear. This fear is a mixture of striving for perfection and an abject fear of failure, thus manifesting into the idea of a gatekeeper. Though the fears that I have while writing are very real for me, the thing that I’m imprinting these fears onto is not. There’s no one way to write. We can see this in the varying styles of authors like Stephen King, George Orwell and J.K Rowling. Each of these well known authors have different writing methods and styles that one gate keeper wouldn’t be able to posture one single writing style as the best/ only way.
I’m writing this out now as a means to force myself to understand just how nonsensical and counterintuitive the pressure that I have been putting on myself truly is. I’m also hoping that this speaks to other writers who are dealing with similar fears. I feel that in truly recognizing that this gatekeeper doesn’t exist, I can finally permit myself to progress with my writing.