This year, I made the commitment to complete The Mariner Sequence – Book 1: Ravens and Roses by the end of 2013. I have committed myself to, not only finishing writing it, but also editing it. You’d think I’d be happy about this. And, in a way, I am. I’ve made significant progress. I just broke 180 pages yesterday. This is the point that writer’s work towards, the place where many fall down. The hardest part of any work is finishing it.
And I’m terrified.
Creation is a lot of fun for me. I enjoy editing, but I don’t always edit my own work very well. Forest for the trees and all that. But editing itself is a creative act that shapes and hones preexisting material. But I am afraid of what comes after that. Once a work is complete, it’s time to send it out to a publisher or give it to someone else to read. And that opens you up to criticism. To uncertainty. To the possibility of failure.
I don’t plan on stopping, but I do feel a certain reluctance to keep writing. I keep shying away from the hard scenes, the involved scenes, the scenes I haven’t quite gotten worked out yet and piddle around with things that aren’t as important or have already been established. A (large) part of me is afraid to keep going, to take the steps necessary to finish writing and move on to editing. Because that’s one step closer to the possibility of publication.
See, I want people to like me. I want them to like my work; I put a lot of effort into it. I like my work, but I worry that others won’t. And when your heart is splattered across the page for anyone to see, it’s a little scary. No matter how fantastical the world or story may be, the fact is that the author can’t keep some of themselves from leaking through. You might not be able to find it, but it’s there. And I want people to like what I’m presenting to them. As long as my novel is a “work-in-progress,” I’m safe.
But the point of writing is to share stories. Creating and sharing stories is something humans want, need, and are very good at. I only hope that I can overcome my fear of failure and exposure to keep going and share mine with someone other than my cats. ^_^;;