First of all, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for being supportive of me after my little freak-out last post. I had a bit of an irrational moment of self-doubt, nothing a bit of venting and good friends couldn't fix.
A part of the conversation was discussing why my world-building might have been hindered while writing the first draft and I think we came up with some good theories: why I'm writing; the emotion(s) I'm writing from; and who I'm writing for.
I have been writing with mid-late teen characters, because I relate to them easily. I fit into that age bracket and I know what sort of things happen to them and go through their heads, and I'm surrounded by others of that age who give me examples outside of myself. I write a lot of teenage angst, because I know it and want people to understand it and how to deal with it, even if I'm using fictional characters and circumstances. Therefore, I sometimes write from unstable emotions, even though I'm writing fiction. In a first draft, my focus is on the characters rather than their world and I tell myself I can come back to correct the imbalance later. Realising the seriousness of that imbalance is probably what stressed me out and made me doubt myself. Now it's a matter of being rational and distancing myself from the initial emotional splurg of a first draft to look at the writing objectively.
As for who I'm writing for, it hasn't been for myself very often lately. NaNo'13 was probably the first time I've written for myself in a long while, because I've otherwise been writing for uni assignments (workshop classmates and tutors), Deakin publication opportunities, or for people on my blog. In those circumstances, I hold back and cut myself short to stop things from getting too long or sounding ridiculously unprofessional and overemotional. I've become so used to writing to a formula that the idea of writing for myself without one, or at least without the formula I'm used to, left me feeling a little in-over-my-head when I got to the end of that first draft and realised how much needed fixing.
It's only a first draft and it doesn't matter if the world-building wasn't top-notch from the first word. Everything that needs fixing can be fixed in re-drafts and I shouldn't worry so much about everything and doubt myself. I wrote a novel, a first draft of over 88,000 words, in less than 40 days. That's an achievement. If I can do that much, I can make it the rest of the way.
Have you ever subconsciously included something real and personal in your writing? Why do you write? What emotions do you write from? Who do you write for?