How to explain how planning and prepping and early drafting for a new novel feels…?
It’s like finding out you’re pregnant, I guess, and wondering what your new baby will be like. Or graduating from college, hoping and dreaming about that first/new job. Or meeting the man/woman you think will be your soul mate, and wondering if your life together could really be that amazing.
Or, if you’re an angsty writer not liking not knowing if what you’re doing is going to suck EGGS, like this.
I’ve written 27 wildly successful novels, by many’s standards. I’ve often made a living creating something out of nothing. Which is decidedly more often, lucky me, than most who get a hankering to write a book and embark on the crazy journey I’m on.
How can I still be so nervous? Worried? Troubled to my very core, so much so that I can’t really write deeply yet, because all the reflections on the surface keep shimmering in and out and away from me, too quickly for me to see clearly.
You know you want to do what you’re doing. You’re dying to get see what the beautiful thing your creating will be, once it’s done. And you’re petrified. You’re feeling less than. You’re stumped as to how anyone could possibly think you could do this. Or is it just me?
We sense the danger of being wrong, of failing, of not living up, I think.
We focus on what others will think or say or NOT feel. We focus on our on inner toxic voices, perhaps fed by those who raised or taunted or bullied us in the past, listening to You Can’t, So Why Bother Trying.
And yet, fear shows us what we want most. It gives us our greatest chance to succeed, if we rise instead of ducking or crumbling.
When we’re beginning something so terrifying, we’re immobilized with fear, it’s a call to action. That panic and temporary paralysis a battle cry. It’s our gift to ourselves–because NOW we know where to focus all that pent up energy.
At least that’s how I flounder through the early weeks/months of a new novel draft. Yes, it’s slow going.
Yes, I sometimes feel like I’m wasting my time and my talent and my career. Am I doing my very best by the trust and faith everyone’s placing in me to pull this off again? But I’ve learned over the years that that’s just me. That’s what it’s like, this early writing that I always have to do before I get to the chewy, lovely, deep and happy place that always comes back somewhere between Chapter 1 and The End.
And for those of you who say, “I’m not a writer,” this is about you, too.
You and every early, new beginning you have.
Challenges await us. And the more we want something, the harder we often must fight to battle back from the fear of even trying.
We must seek, not hide. We must fight, not surrender. We must want, not give up.
And if we do, that amazing thing we were meant to be will be found.
“Nothing is lost… Everything is transformed.” ~Michael Ende, The Neverending Story
Transform with me today, won’t you?
Tags: Anna DeStefano, author coaching, creativity & inspiration, drafting, editing, editor, editorial revision, fear, freelance editor, How You Write, transformation, Women’s Fiction, writer, writer resource