I've had some success recently in changing a few habits. I'm drinking less and working out more ... and if you'd asked me a year ago if these were on my Top 10 list you would have been given a very enthusiastic thumbs up. I'm very proud of myself for making 2014 a year for starting in on some positive changes.
But the premiere spot on the Top 10 list has been reserved for something very special ... I want to complete and submit my first novel. And I have not yet accomplished that feat.
Writing scares me.
I'm a person with a day job. I'm a Project Manager and I've moved around to no fewer than 4 organizations in the last 8 years. Getting fired doesn't scare me. Been there, done that ... I'll find a new job. Quitting my job and starting at a new place doesn't scare me. Been there, done that ... I'll make new friends.
But writing? Writing scares me.
I'm not half as good as I want to be, and I'm completely paralyzed by that.
The smart girl inside me ... the girl who's figured out how to make a pretty great living at a job she's moderately passionate about, knows that this is a terrible excuse. If you want to be good at something, you practice. No one ever got good at something by avoiding it. But avoid it, I do. I watch myself struggle with words on the page and I wonder if it should be this hard. If I was a talented writer, would I wrestle with it this much?? Should it be this difficult to get me to sit in the chair and write if this was my calling?
The truth is, writing is unlike any other career. I've always succeeded at the day jobs because I understand there's a Boss. And he/she wants certain things, and I'm pretty good at figuring out what they need and delivering. But writing doesn't work like that. There is no Boss except me ... and I'm not a very strict boss. I accept every excuse that's presented. Don't feel like you've outlined the chapter well enough to write it? Well ... take more time. Don't feel like you've got the logistics of the scene nailed down? Well, take the time to work it out. Think you need to rewrite something back in Chapter One to really explain the protaganist's motivation? Feel free to go back and do that.
I'm the Queen of making excuses ... and sadly, I'm also the Queen at listening to them ...
April is about making a habit of writing. I have no idea how I'll do on that front. I can tell you I have a plan ... which is important ... but I've made lots of plans over the years ... the problem for me is sticking to them.
Writing still scares me. Wish me luck.