Why am I so AFRAID of my [[Saros|wiki]]?!  Seriously, I am terrified of writing lately and I have no idea why.  I’ll open a [[Special:RandomPage|Random Article]] to get myself into the wiki.  I tab away to look at a new site.  I navigate do a couple more random articles, trying to find a place to get hooked in.  I check forums.  I navigate to the story on which I am currently working.  I already know where the plot is going immediately and in the long run.  I have it planned out pretty thuroughly.  I click edit and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the edit box, scrolling to where I want to add text.  I stare at it for a moment before I close the page and check my e-mail and facebook.  If not that, I get terrified and find something else to do, usually navigating away from the page.  Sometimes I’ll be so frightened to right I think it would be better to just go to sleep.  After all, a lot of my ideas come from sleeping and I usually feel relatively safe in my dream world.

A lot of my ideas do come while I’m sleeping.  Sleeping and showering are where I am able to focus my thoughts the best.  I don’t feel like I need to run away because I am safe.  There are people waiting for me in my dreams who will usually make me feel good.  In the shower I can flesh things out very clearly.  It is where I came up for the concept of [[Mana]].  It is where I balanced [[The Elements]].  It is where [[Vera]], the [[Primal Dragons]], and [[Mathias Blades]] were born.  My mind is PURIFIED and CLEAR, but every time I come close to the wiki — at work, at home — I am TERRIFIED and cannot think.  Despite the entire world I have created for myself with dozens of [[Category:Important_Characters_(Saros)|characters]], a slew of [[Category:Creatures_(Saros)|creatures]], many places to visit and interesting things to do, I can never DO anything when I get there.  I am always trapped.

And this isn’t new.  Yes, this basically started when I decided I wanted to take a break from writing, but that is over.  I want to write again. I know before I use to try to work on the technical end.  I’d go over the [[Special:WantedPages|Wanted Pages]] and clean up simple, easy to fix things.  I’d write the short pages, fix redirects, make categories, organize navboxes.  Hell, I wrote a [[Celesian Calendar|CALENDAR]]! 

And there is so much I have still in my head that hasn’t even graced the wiki yet.  [[Solomon’s Key]], [[Chi]], [[Karmatic Energy]], the difference between [[Arcane Magic]] and [[Divine Magic]].  IT IS ALL SOMETHING I ALREADY KNOW.  but I cannot write it down.  I can’t.

Sometimes I try to actually write things.  Sometimes I am less afraid of my notebook than I am of the wiki.  [[Tarrochi cards]] and [[Langirden]] were born because of that.  Ideas that just popped into my head because of something I saw;  I wanted to write it and use it, so I wrote it in the notebook.  It flowed easily.  Yes, I made it up as I went along just like this, just like how I DM, just like how 50% of my ideas come to me.  But a lot of them stay in my head.  Some of them fade, even the good ones.  Hell, I might not even remember what Solomon’s Key is later. 

I think part of it might be how intimidating the wiki is.  There is so much information.  It isn’t organized, which is why I spent so much time cleaning up the [[Saros (TOC)|Table of Contents]], but that isn’t organized data.  I don’t have a way to present my story or my world.  Hell, I honestly don’t have a very solid idea of what the world looks like.  The maps I designed years ago are lost and I’ve changed things since then.  The few maps of the world I still have are after a catastrophe.  I don’t know how I can possibly present the world in a manner that is approachable.  I’ve designed it from many aspects.  I know what happens back and forth through time, usually following a specific chain of events, but these events aren’t important yet.  I have a story that is pretty detailed, but not detailed enough and it has no MEANING.  There is meaning in certain things, like [[Ceresa]] and [[Veeshan]] and the [[Celesian Church]] and even things as simple as a [[Undead|zombie]] have a reason for being there, but I don’t know how to explain their relations to each other, especially not in a way thta would draw attention. 

maybe language is my barrier.  I feel like I can’t describe things well enough.  I’m not a writer.  I barely passed English in high school.  I have really taken a formal writing class.  People tell me “Oh your writing is really good;  You’re better than some of the published authors I’ve read” but I don’t believe it, honestly.  The difference between me and the published authors is that the published authors are published.  That also means that they’ve FINISHED something, while I haven’t finished anything at all.  I also get a lot of “you should read blah blah blah to become a better writer!” which is sound advice, but not something I really want to do.  I don’t want to go through troves of books to learn someone elses style of writing and thinking; honestly I’m trying to avoid that.  Plus I always get really distracted when I read other peoples fiction.  I start thinking about my own world or I get bored with their work and think mine is probably boring, too, or mine isn’t as descriptive as theirs and not good enough.  Something I never get from people is feedback.  “Oh, I really liked this article particularly.” or “Can you tell me more about this thing?” or “Were you going to do this with your story?” or “How does blah blah blah do blah blah?”.  THESE are the things that help me the most, because I really get to see what other people are seeing.  I get the impression that the people that are reading are actually reading and not just glancing over it quickly being polite and saying its good. 

I am also afraid of new articles.  There is a list of 142 articles that aren’t written right now and it is because I don’t feel I have enough data to justify creating a new page.  They are mostly people, places, or things and they aren’t important enough to just make stuff up yet;  doing so would cement what they are and I don’t want to have to change them later.  Part of what I like about my world right now is how flexible it is.  I really feel like I can do anything in this world.  I compare other worlds to mine and ask myself “how does this work in Saros?”.  Normally the answer comes very easily and if not, I try to work it out.

I should be able to do this.  I should be able to write, and I KNOW I can write well.  I just can’t do it.






These are relative articles that not only pertain to my inability to write and why I should be able to do it, but were also read instead of writing.

Michael McElrath

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