The mayhem is (temporarily) over: I have submitted my assignments for my taught modules and shall now be focusing on writing my MA dissertation. The dissertation consists of 15,000 words of fiction, plus a 5,000 word contextualising essay, with 10% leeway in word count. I'll be writing Gothic short stories linked by the theme of identity/self-perception.
Most of my short stories tend to be 2500-3000 words; it seems to be my natural groove. When I try to write shorter stories, they often come across as rushed or over-orchestrated. It depends on the story/subject, of course, but I expect my dissertation to consist of 6 or so stories.
I know nothing about Gothic fiction!
Okay, that's a lie. The truth is, I've read a lot of Gothic fiction and fiction with Gothic elements. But compared to the range of Gothic fiction that exists, I know nothing. My reflex ,when I feel like this, is to read - so I have a huge pile of books and am now anxious about not having the time to read them all!
So now I'm wasting time worrying that I don't have enough time!
Yup, I'm mad. But also, I've found that procrastinating is usually a symptom of lacking confidence - for me, anyway. So the real problem is the usual, banal, utterly boring one:
I'm afraid my writing won't be good enough.
Ugh. I hate that. I hate being an anxious mess, I hate doubting myself and I hate the fact that the only possible response to this problem is to write.
All I can do is write a lot (and make sure I read enough). Keep writing, keep rewriting and hope I can either be confident about my writing, or be content with not being confident and keep writing anyway. So screw that big pile of books - I need to concentrate on producing a big pile of stories!