Writing Is A Scary Business

I believe I've mentioned in this blog--and more often on Facebook--how well the novel writing is going. I made a commitment at the beginning of 2011 to "submerge" myself in the novel I've put off writing for, oh, I'd say a good 4-5 years now. I've done well with that commitment. I've written over 10,000 words, most of it in character development and plot points and rough scene outlines, but 10,000 words, nonetheless. 

Now it's time to start writing the book. I've got my characters. I know (most) of their motivations. I have my setting. I've written the outline. There's nothing left for it but to write the book. 

And yet, I hesitate. 



What if I start writing the book and it's awful? What if I abandon it halfway through? What if I'm just wasting time (and all the income I'm not earning) doing this? What if, what if, what if...

As a writer, you learn to tune out the "what ifs," at least most of the time. They're always there. It's just a matter of powering past them. I've felt myself gearing up for the last week and a half to do so. I'm touching up the outline here, writing down the odd idea for another plot point there, but really what I'm doing is dragging my feet before heading into the arena for the big event. I'm a little scared to "lose" myself in the writing. It's what has always held me back. I am, after all, one of the founders of Control Freak Central.

The idea of just burying myself in something equally thrills and terrifies me. The fear for me is in the not knowing. I don't mind hard work... I just want to know there will be a payoff in the end. And this, I think, is the hardest part of writing. Trust. You just have to trust that there is a purpose behind all of this. A reason you feel compelled to sit by yourself for hours on end and scribble down words and passages that you will later feel the need to burn because you don't want anyone, ever, to even suspect you are capable of producing such drivel. Trust that even if your work doesn't get acknowledged or even published that it wasn't a colossal waste of time to have spent writing it. Trust that this is who you are and this is where you were meant to be and this is what you were meant to be doing. 

I'm standing on the high dive, staring down at what looks to be a very tiny pool of water far, far below me. 

It's time to jump in and get wet.