Did some evil pixie come along in the night and nick my ability to write? It’s the only thing that can explain my difficulty in stringing words together of late. I’m still on chapter 19, despite all and sundry urging me forwards. It’s like the more I am urged, the more I hedge. The more I hedge, the more I stall. The more I stall, the more I just sit here eating chocolate, whimpering.
I actually think this condition has a name. It’s called The Fear of Finishing.
It is, of course, the fear of sending this puppy away to frolic alone on an agent’s desk. I worry that it will stumble and fall into the wastepaper bin. I am worried it will drool and appear unseemly. I am worried that despite all the research, the agent will not like puppies. I am also worried about this strange puppy analogy – where did that come from?!
This fear is not helping my writing one jot. Every time I try to add more to chapter 19 it seems my vocabulary has reverted to Ladybird Reader style. Florence can run. Max can run. Let’s all run together!
And then there’s this blog. Sometimes I think, well, if I cannot write on the story I will write here instead. But I find myself horribly thumb-tied over here too. And then I feel guilty for spending too long over here thinking about a post when I should be over there pulling my hair out over chapter 19. I keep thinking that sometime I will find a balance with all this – that everything will start to effortlessly fall into place, and I will be able to comment on others, sort out this blog, follow more people, pretty it up a bit, write my story, go to work and back, and all will be smooth-running. At the moment it all feels like plate spinning.
I also think part of the Fear is a self-confidence thing. I’ve never felt that special as just myself, and ‘being a writer’ is the thing (the only thing) that makes me feel that there is a point, my raison d'être. Sending this off is almost like me asking timidly whether I am special or not! I know it shouldn’t be like that, and I shouldn’t think like that… but it is amazingly hard to change the way you are wired. I do try to think positive – it’s like a constant internal battle – sometimes negative wins, sometimes positive.
The thing I am trying to concentrate on now is that everything really is win/win. If I send it away and they like it, fab! If it is rejected, send it again! If it comes back every time see if it can be changed. If not, put it away for a while, congratulate yourself for completing a novel, and start the next one. If I have to believe writing makes me special, then the ambition to keep going can be what makes me special too.