It’s no secret that my ultimate dream is to be a novelist, as in making all my money from writing books rather than the 9 to 5. But until that happens, I have to work a regular job to make a living. The lucky part is that my job still revolves around writing. The bad part?
It revolves around writing.
After writing dozens of short articles a week, it takes its toll on the creative writing I want to get done. Two weekends ago I began writing the novel I’ve been planning out for the last month. I got a good 3,000 words in over two days time. And then I set forth the best intentions to write a little each day so I could have a rough draft finished by the time the wedding rolled around. One and a half weeks later, I still have 3,000 words.
I meant to wake up early every day to write a little bit before work. But I’d accidentally on purpose never set my alarm early enough. By the time I come home from work, the distractions mount up and I make excuse after excuse about why I shouldn’t even open my computer and start typing. The truth is, after a full 8 hours of writing about events around Sonoma County, making our entertainment website purty, and publishing other people’s articles on the web, the last thing I want to do is type away on my book – even while simultaneously wishing I could be doing JUST THAT with no distractions around me at all.
That’s why I feel like I have no right to be consumed by the green-eyed monster when I see local authors presenting their newly published novels around the county. But I totally am. I feel like it should be me in that smiling picture, holding a hard bound book with my name on it.
I think the biggest thing it comes down to is fear. I want this so bad I can taste it. But I’m so afraid to create a finished product in case it fails miserably, or I discover I’m really no good. What happens if I finish one of my rough draft novels and present it to various agents, only to be told its utter crap? It’s likely to happen, as it’s happened to many now-published authors. But I’m not sure I can handle it.
And then there’s that – making the feat of publishing a novel seem so far out of my reach. Regular people have written amazing books. I’m a regular person too, and I feel in my heart I’m capable of this too. But I keep placing this goal high up on a pedestal, ranking it up there with winning a Gold in the Olympics or becoming royalty.
It’s just a damn book, Crissi.
At any rate, this is me – a totally jealous, procrastinating, frozen in my own fear unpublished author. I better do something about changing that label quickly before it sticks…..
Fear? Yes, I get that. Suffer from the same complaint.
But if we don’t do it, if we leave it, if we decide to do it later, what then? What if we wake up and we’re 199 and can’t lift our hands to the keyboard and can’t work the mouse and our brains are addled enough so we can’t write, but not enough so we know we failed.
A fast swipe at the sink is better than no swipe at all.
Same applies to writing. Five minutes here and five minutes there.
Take a notepad to the loo. Just do it.
Do it now.
You’re right! Let this be the battle cry for both of us. I wrote 1200 words last night. Tonight I will sit there and type, even if I only write 50 words. Anne Lamott’s book ‘Bird by Bird’ is an inspiration for this problem – just take it step by step, or like her father said to her little brother while he cried over his report on birds, “Bird by Bird”. Thanks for the comment and kick in the pants!
Good for you! Best of luck!