Tag Archives: fear

Nerves and doing it wrong

After experiencing the most minimal of minimal fender-benders yesterday, I found myself incredibly nervous driving to work today. The solution? To ditch my friends tonight (sorry Leanne!) and hole up in my home, under a dark blanket, away from cars, with the last few chapters of my manuscript to finish line-editing.

I’m down to those last few days. Those last moments before I finally have a polished ‘script, for the first time in my life. Before I finally get to start querying for a (gasp!omg!) agent. How does it feel?

It feels unreal. It feels like I’ve been stretching out these last few weeks, procrastinating the first (second? third?) big hurdle in getting this darn book published. It feels like I’ve forgotten everything I’ve read and learned in the past few years about query writing and the publishing industry.

It’s hard for me to do things wrong. I’m one of those crazy people who inexplicably would rather give up than fail (though in my old age, I’m starting to realize that the former is the same as the latter). I’m not any sort of perfectionist, but I hate disappointing people, disappointing myself.

So what happens now? What happens when I finally sit down and finish the last of my edits and start querying and just… flop? Go no further? Find out these last 2.5 years have been for naught?

*Deep breaths* I guess we’ll find out. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep delving in blogs and articles and everything else I can find about writing.

Like this New Yorker article, about how writing is hard.

Or this scary Janet Reid blog post, about building platform before you even find an agent… um, eep?


Fear of flying

Oh boy.

I’ve been talking a lot of smack about being nearly done my novel on this blog. I’ve even set deadlines, and adjusted deadlines. I’ve made promises, on here, and to my friends. Finishing a novel is always easiest in theory. You can have everything mapped out, everything planned to last detail, but nothing prepares you for the end.

I’ve reached the end. I’ve been there a few weeks now, with the final task of revising the last third of my book looming over like the unending rain clouds that seem to plague my city as of late.

Let me tell you what I wasn’t prepared for. I wasn’t prepared for the completely irrational fear of finishing. I’ve had the tedium of working on the same project for so long, the depression of thinking my crap isn’t good enough and the excitement of nearing the finish line. But I have never in this journey been afraid.

Until now.

I didn’t even recognize at first that what I was feeling was fear. When I finished the last of my chapters, I was surprised and then saddened when the sheer joy didn’t come. I knew I should have been elated, but instead I was left feeling rather anxious. Irritated. For no reason.

Over the past two weeks I’ve realized what that bubbling irritation was. I’m petrified of failing. I’m a chronic under-achiever – my higher-than-average marks always prompted me not to try in school. I am far more known for never finishing what I start. But this – to come this far only to face the free-falling chasm of what’s to come after one finishes?

I’m not ready.

This isn’t some story I threw together in a matter of months. It’s something I’ve meticulously crafted over the course of two years. Two years. What if that doesn’t even show? What if it’s just another sub-par novel that has little chance of being picked up? what if all of those hundreds and hundreds of hours have added up to merely something any monkey with a keyboard could write?

I don’t know if I can handle the rejection. I’m not talking about the inevitable rejection emails, I’m talking full-on realization that this one is just not good enough – it’s time to move on.

I’m paralyzed at the thought of handing out copies to the friends and family I asked to be peer-readers. I’m sick to my stomach knowing that a handful of chapters lie with a good friend, cousin and artist who, for some ridiculous and unknown reason, has volunteered to illustrate what lies within my pages. I’m stuck here at the computer, on the day I set to finish my revisions, typing to you instead of doing the work that needs to be done.

I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.

But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Is anyone ever ready? One could argue that most people don’t even attempt their dreams. I’ve opened that door – I’ve started my attempt. What happens if there’s no bottom to this chasm after I finish this leap?

I’m never going to know until I try.

So here goes…

Teh Vampires

I feel guilty.

Here I could be saving lives, but I don’t.

Do you try to save lives? I’m talking about donating blood. My office even occasionally brings in Canadian Blood Services and sets them up in the gymnasium (I just recently missed this. On purpose.) I really want to give blood, I do! It’s one of the most basic, simplest ways that you can make a difference. But the last time I did (four years ago, almost to the day) I ended up taking 1.5 days off sick, just because my body couldn’t handle it.

It doesn’t help that Canadian Blood Services (otherwise known in my house the “blood suckers”, “leeches”, “vampires” or any other appropriate parallel – Chris is scared of needles and also won’t be donating anytime soon) call me pretty much every other day now. They’re currently worse than telemarketers. It’s practically harassment, but can I really be upset by what they’re harassing me for? (Although, in perspective, if anyone else called you at this frequency, asking for the squishie red juices from inside of your body, it might be deemed rather creepy. Just sayin’.)

Anyway, I never pick up. I feel too guilty, and annoyed, to bother.

What do you think? Is it time to try again? Is it worth the impending sick days? Will you pay me for time off?

Do you give blood?