As I've said before, I've been trying to write a novel. However, I have hit a terrible hurdle. The thing is, I'm just not feeling good with writing. I like telling stories, and I still love my characters. I just don't have the same kind of creative energy as I used to. Writing is becoming a chore. Instead of a fun passion, I'm starting to dread opening my word processor and seeing how much more I have to do before I finish writing everything that's in my outline. It would be one thing if I were 'burnt out' from writing nonstop, but this is completely different- I've barely written anything in the last two months.
Prose itself seems to elude me. I'm becoming overly self-critical (even though I'm working on a pre-rough draft, where the prose is supposed to beige and bland, since I'm going to re-write it anyway) and easily distracted. It's not even that I'm tired of the world or characters in my current novel project- it's just that I simply can't find in me the words needed to bring them to life.
I want, desperately, to be a writer. I have dozens of stories that I want to share with the world- I think it would be a damn shame if nobody but me would ever get to know about them. Aside from going to college, marrying a kind and funny woman, and raising a family, this is really my only long-term goal in life- to share my imagination. Making up stories, crafting worlds, devising characters- these are things that come to me as easily as breathing (if not more so). But once I'm set in front of my keyboard, I lose everything. All my drive, all my motivation, all my skill with words. In my head, I can imagine a scene so vividly, that I can practically feel it. But I can't translate any of this into text. And it's all well and good to say to myself 'okay, I'm going to practice my writing today', but when do I reach that point where I'm happy with what I'm putting out? And how can I see writing as something to enjoy, rather than to dread?
Have I bitten off more than I can chew with this whole novel thing? Should I stick to short stories for a while, before coming back to novels once I feel more confident?