Biting off more than you can chew?
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Do you jump ship, or pursue it?
My conscience says pursue, and my brain says "Don't be stupid, you know very well you don't have it in you to pull this off."
I honestly don't know what to do.
Vollmann said he never intended Rising Up and Rising Down to be seven volumes; it just grew on him.
Unfortunately, there are other stories that I started and then let drop, setting them aside for so long that the themes in them became musty, ideas from my past rather than my present. If I had just written a complete first draft, I think I could have come back to some of these stories, polished them, and perhaps published some of them.
If an idea excites you so much that you feel unworthy of it, you may need to muster up the daring to silence your inner critic, leap before you look, and go for it. The beauty of writing is that you can rough out a dreadful first draft just to get the sense of what you're doing, come back to it later to see what's working and what's not, revise (perhaps even drastically) to make it reflect your initial vision more fully, then set it aside and come back to it as many times as needed to polish it.
You say your conscience says one thing and your brain says another. What does your heart say? What does your writerly lust say? The best stories aren't written out of "ought to" or "this is small enough to be possible." Writing a really good story takes a leap of faith. If you fail, so what? At worst, you'll learn something about writing. At best, you'll have the time of your life and discover you have far more potential than you dreamed.
There are two ways of putting something on the back burner. If the back burner is cold and out-of-the-way, the idea is likely to get cold, too (unless it's a really huge idea, the kind of idea that comes out of a major life issue and is likely to dog you until you finally do something with it). But ideas don't have to be gigantic to make good stories. I think Marian is talking about the kind of back-burner that has a real flame under it. You're not giving up on the idea, but letting it deepen and develop until it goes from a simmer to a boil and you start feeling like you just have to sit down and write.
If there is a hurdle you have trouble getting over - for example, a plot point you can't quite work out - you might try thinking hard about it before you go to bed one night, then dismissing the idea from your mind and going to sleep. Wake up without an alarm clock the next morning and see what ideas come to you as you're in that drifting state between sleeping and waking.
And let's not forget, Tabitha King famously salvaged an early draft of a novel called CARRIE from her husband Steve's trash bin and told him he was on to something.
You just never know...
I don't know if this will help or not (lots of good perspectives from everyone here...) but I spent too many years listening to my ever persuasive "brain" that said I needed more something - life experience, education, wisdom, skill, space, time, money, blah, blah, blah - and I can tell you now that it never goes away. I've just learned to manage it and be willing to face the fear of inadequacy that rises up when you least expect it.
The only thing you need is to ignore that doubt and just begin it... like margad says, there is much to learn from messing up too. And if you don't like what happens, something else will occur to you in that moment. I'd bet on it.