This post appeared in my reader some weeks ago, in the midst of my writing fury, and I saved the tab planning on eventually writing this post. Again, this was weeks ago. As I mentioned yesterday, I somehow got off track. I knew it was bound to happen but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I didn’t hit writer’s block. Worse, I saw results!
Really, I think that’s what it was. I told you a few weeks ago about my change in life style (dietary and writing) and I saw results in both areas. I lost an inch and a half around my hips and a half an inch around my thighs. Since measuring and seeing the result, I’ve worked out less than three times a week. I have over 15,000 words down (over 50 pages double spaced) and once I celebrated that accomplishment, my 1,000 a day “just didn’t happen.”
I don’t know what it was, but all of a sudden my subconscious said, “You don’t need to try anymore.” Now, I’m feeling down and unproductive. Again, I’ve been working on other things – but still!
Anyway, to my fears:
1. I’m afraid that I’ll see results and assume that the work will just continue to appear. That I’ll get lazy or too busy for my characters and world that I’ve created. That 15,000 words will go down the drain because I couldn’t “keep with it.”
2. I’m afraid that there are books similar. There is one book in particular that was just released that has similar undertones to my WIP and I’m refusing to read it (although I’m DYING to) until I finish. I don’t want this novel having any influence on my writing (for obvious reasons). I’m essentially scared that I’ll finish writing thousands of words only to be told “That’s been done.”
3. I’m afraid to name my characters. Isn’t that ridiculous? I know who they are as people but the names just aren’t clear to me. My protagonist was named Elizabeth but everyone calls her Lucy and then, after realizing that that is a name I want to reserve for my future daughter (and I’ll be pissed if I don’t use this name and then I have all sons). I don’t want to have a baby girl and then name her my prized name after having named a beloved character with the same name. I can’t really put my finger on it – but it just doesn’t bode well with me. Like there are already expectations for her. So I’ve changed the name to Lois (Lo) – because Dan will never let me name a daughter Lois – but I’m not really feeling that either. Another name I’m tossing around is Rosemary.
I’ve changed my male protagonist’s name once because the name that fit him SO perfectly … was also completely coincidentally the male protagonist’s name in the aforementioned slightly similar novel.Then I ended up changing it again because I didn’t think this other name fit him.
Can I just say, “Thank goodness for Find, Replace All.”
4. I’m still coming up with a title. I hope that comes together too. I haven’t really thought enough about it to be scared – but now that I’m thinking about it I’m sure I’m about to have an anxiety attack.
5. I’m afraid that I’ll spend my summer writing this story, editing this story, loving this story – only to never find an agent. Only to never see it published. I know this happens all the time to manuscripts but it’s a lot to stomach. I’m aware of the odds that I’m going up against. I have no delusions of grandeur of how easy it will be to get published. I just want a shot. I also know that people say “write for you!” And to that I respond, “BS.” If I wanted to write for myself, I’d keep a journal. If I wanted to entertain myself with my own stories, I’d do as Sheldon does and great Reagoland (like the Sims – but imaginary – Big Bang anyone?). I want to write for my struggling readers. I want to write for the students who don’t think “there’s anything good” out there. I want to write to be read.
I don’t think I’m afraid to finish – I’m afraid to fail. I think that’s what stopped me in my tracks. I saw progress, I saw results, and I got nervous. I can count the people IRL on one hand who know that I’ve actively begun writing: Dan, Mom, Dani. Dan’s doing a pretty good job of saying, “Have you written your words yet?” – but I’m relying on you, my ever faithful online companions, to keep me in shape.
I know I have a lot going on this summer – but I can do this. This is the first time I’ve ever written this much on one idea. This is the first time I’ve really saw my characters, visualized my world, and put it in writing. If I fall off the band wagon – I may never finish. After all, if not now – maybe never.