I came across this today. Funny how you can come across something that just summarizes all the mumbojumbo that is running through your mind.
I particularly like Write Scared. You see I just finished watching the commencement address that J.K Rowling gave at Harvard where she talks about the benefits of failure and it struck me that for me failure has always been a huge motivator. It also struck me after watching this, that since graduating ten years ago, NOTHING has turned out how I thought it would. Professionally, there have been moments of colossal failure, moments of settling because rent had to be paid, moments of sucking it up and moving forward even as I loathed the path I was on, always with a feeling that there has to be something better out there.
This discontent came to a head last October, when I realized how fully I had painted myself into a corner. Sure, there were outside factors, but mostly it was because out of fear that I never gathered the strength to do what I truly wanted with my life.
Writing, you see, has always been my dirty little secret. Something I do but do not share.
Last October sucked. For more than one reason. But one of the strange things that happens when everything falls apart is that you are given this bizarre new opportunity to reassemble your reality however you see fit. It is liberating and petrifying.
At work I have a fortune cookie posted on my wall. It reads: what would you do if you knew you could not fail. It stares at me for eight hours, five days a week.
So I set all the coulda-shouldas aside and decided to embark on something that I truly wanted to do. Write a novel. And I told all my friends and family that I was doing it. I set word count goals for myself to keep myself on track. I carved hours out of my day and filled them with words and fantastical adventures. And wrote and wrote. Some of it I loved, some of it I still hate (hey- I haven’t edited yet).
And through it all I was scared. Still am. Even today, more than three quarters of a the way through my WIP I can count the number of people who have read any of it on one finger.
I had hoped by now, to have finished the first draft of the WIP. I had hoped to go visit my parents in Florida and take chapters with me to edit. Instead, I find myself procrastinating and making excuses once again. I know where I want my story to go – so why can’t I finish it.
The answer came to me today and it is one that I am not really comfortable with – I am scared of the part that comes after I finish writing.
Overachiever that I am, in order to avoid stagnating in the fear of failure, I must succeed. Which means I have to try to see the WIP through to the end and try to get it published. Which means I have to put the darn thing out there into the world and have it be judged and criticized. I hate being judged and criticized.
Don’t they say that recognizing the problem is part of solving the problem? How ridiculous does it seem that I have a fear of success?
Anyways, I am as usual three steps ahead of my self because none of this will ever happen if I don’t finish my damn novel! So I am hitting publish and ignoring the sunshine streaming through my balcony.
AND I AM GOING TO GET BACK TO WRITING!