Fear and Writing in California
This week, our blogging topic is All About Me.
I was trying to think about what to tell you guys, and the word fear popped into my head. Fear plays a big part in my writing life. Right now it’s the star of the show.
Last week, I turned in the final book in the UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy to my editor. I won’t see the book again for a few weeks, when I get copy edits back. For the first time in three years I find myself with no looming deadline. No pressing story to write. And honestly, guys, I thought it was going to be awesome.
My plans with my newfound freedom were to sleep, spend time with my kids, exercise, read, read, read. I was also very excited to get going on my next series, and while I’ve done most things, I haven’t done that. I can’t because of fear.
See, in my head, New Series is perfect. A balance of adventure, romance, and fantasy. Epic in scope, but deeply personal in its character struggles. It is, essentially, a Platonic Ideal. (Perfectionist much, V?) It’s like when someone tells you about Iron Man 3, and how amazing it is. And OMG it’s so good. Best Iron Man movie yet. You have to see it. And all you’re thinking is, “it’s going to suck.”
I’m doing all of that by myself. Or I should say to myself. Instead of writing this shiny idea, I let it live in my mind, untarnished, sitting right on its pedestal on the mantle.
I have this book called ART & FEAR. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
“… Fears arise when you look back, and they arise when you look ahead…. Fears rise in those entirely appropriate (and frequently recurring) moments when vision races ahead of execution.”
That’s pretty much me. Vision galloping ahead at mile twenty-six while execution has stopped for some PowerAde and a chat with the marathon spectators at mile two.
I keep calling friends and family and whining about not writing. (Sorry, friends and family.) I'm reading, and spending time with my kids. Relaxing some, definitely, but I am a writer and writers write. The minute I hit send to my editor, my creative appetite was no longer being fed. I want to go. I just can't.
In one of my whiny phone calls, my dear friend Lia told me that a book wouldn’t be worth writing if you weren’t afraid of it. Fear means you care deeply, she said. Fear means it’s the right story. That’s all true. My passion for this story has created the wall that’s in front of me. My intense desire to write it is exactly what’s stopping me from writing it. (Hey, no one ever said I was sane, all right?)
But I know that my will to create is more powerful than my fear of failure. My love of writing is bigger than the flaws I perceive in my ability. I saw Iron Man 3, and it was amazing, and how would I have known that, if I hadn’t given it a chance?
I’ll get past this wall. Soon, I tell myself. Maybe today I’ll set the PowerAde down, and jump in the race. Just thinking about it makes me want to run around the house screaming at the top of my lungs with joy.
So, that’s my ALL ABOUT ME. Fear has a pretty good hold on me right now, but not for long, friends. Not for long.
Have any of you felt this way? I’d love to hear how you deal with it.