So remember that time I said I wanted to finish my first draft by the end of March? Yeah, me too. In fact, I believe it’s the post preceding this one (now, the end of April).
Basically, I did a fine job of completely psyching myself out. It always starts so innocuously, too. There I am, browsing Goodreads, nodding along to reviews of books that have absolutely nothing to do with mine, stuffing my mouth with baguette and cheese and tea. And then suddenly, I realize that: 1) all of the good things said in these reviews will never apply to my book; and 2) all of the bad things will. Never mind that these reviews address the breadth of genre and literature and quality.
Cue cycle of psyching self out.
- My characters and everything that occurs in my story are dumb.
- The stakes aren’t high enough. None of it is believable.
- This has been done before, probably better, so why bother?
- Oh god, all of my friends and acquaintances will read this and judge me. (It’s always the issue of people I know. Why is it so much harder than strangers?)
- Considering that, maybe I should just go find a regular job.
- Except working in an office setting kind of makes me want to stab myself in the eye.
- Screw it, this is what I love doing and it’s worth doing for that reason alone!
- Maybe I should try another plot. Or genre.
- (Spend the afternoon creating a new plot. In another genre.)
- No! I’ve invested too much in what I’ve already got to give it up.
Deep down, I know I can do this. Deep down, I see a life for myself where I make this work, and I love it. I can’t imagine anything better. I examine my life in retrospect, the turns I’ve taken that didn’t always make sense, and I can see now how they’ve brought me here. I suppose this would qualify as my dream, though I’ve never thought of it in such terms. There is beauty in language, in crafting a sentence that is just so. Put simply, when all the other voices quiet down, when I forget all the advice I’ve received, when I find that place where self-doubt can’t touch me, there is real joy.
And it’s within my reach. Time to buck up and take it.
Not to mention, I’m a little in love with the cover I designed (if I’m allowed to say so), and I can’t use it until the book is actually, you know, complete. Details (sigh).