I have stopped writing. It’s been almost two months now. I’ve written a paragraph here and there, but that’s all. My new story haunts me in the night. During the day, it calls out to me. It needs me, its creator, to give it birth. But I refuse its entreaties day after day.
My characters beg me to complete their being, to give them the life they so richly deserve. I brought them into this world and it is not fair to leave them hanging, so to speak.
Why am I not writing? Is it because I don’t know where next to take the story? Or is it that I am just too goddamn lazy to go to work? It’s got to be one or the other—or so I thought. But this morning, I had an epiphany.
I write all my stories in my head before I type the first word. Not one hundred percent mind you, but I’ve got it all mapped out. I’ve published four books so far and with each of them, I knew where I wanted to take my characters and I knew what the subtext of the story would be before I wrote the first word. I even had the last paragraph written. So, it can’t be that I don’t know what to write.
As to being lazy, yeah, I’ll give you that one. I am a lazy son-of-a-bitch. But that’s not the reason I’m not writing. I love to write and I love doing the research my books demand of me.
It came to me this morning. I am not writing because I am afraid. Petrified! Terrified into inaction. I fear that my writing does not measure up. As I’ve said, I have four books out there and they all are enjoying good reviews. That fact has sustained me until recently. I never thought of myself as a John Steinbeck, but I figured, on a good day, I was about a six on a scale of ten.
But now, with my new book, I’m trying to push myself to become a seven or maybe even an eight. And that is the crux of the matter. I am afraid of failing.
One other thing enters into the equation. I have decided that I will not go through the indignities of marketing this book. I’m basically writing it for myself. There will be no glory, no praising reviews, and no five stars on Amazon. So, a small part of me says, “Why bother?”
I’ve got to work this out or buy myself a TV and watch Oprah all day long. You would think that thought alone would be enough to get me back to the computer.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my angst. It’s 1:27 a.m. and I should be working on my book, but instead, I’m talking to you nice folks. You see what I mean? I just wrote 491 words telling you about my inability to write. I could have used some of those words in my story.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll buckle down. But I doubt it.