It’s Monday, which means it’s time for a #writemotivation check in. It also means it’s been a week since I posted my New Year’s resolutions. So how am I doing? Well, this blog post means I have successfully posted once a week for the first two weeks of 2012. I have also written a tweet tale every day and am having lots of fun with it. Hooray for small victories!
The bad news is I STILL have not started the rewrite of The Hunt, so now it’s only two weeks until the Amazon contest deadline. But that’s not really the bad part because I can always submit it as is. The bad part is WHY I can’t make myself start. I have friends and family encouraging me. I’ve met incredible new people through #writemotivation who are waving their pom poms furiously. And I WANT to rewrite it. I love this little story, and I think it has shot, but I know it needs a bit of spit and polish before it’s ready. But I just can’t start the rewrite.
It almost feels like there is a physical wall blocking me. I open my laptop and stare at the screen, but I can’t make myself double click on the document. I also have a printed version sitting on my desk, which I look at multiple times a day, but I can’t make myself pick it up. It’s frustrating.
I was a psych major, and I’ve had enough heart-to-hearts with the people in my life to know what the problem is: fear of failure. I’ve rewritten The Hunt several times already, so I know this last rewrite will be THE ONE. Once it’s done, I’ll have no more excuses not to start querying. And we’ve all heard the stories about J.K. Rowling and Kathryn Stockett – even bestsellers are rejected a heart-numbing number of times. So as long as I have a manuscript that needs “just one last rewrite” then I can’t be rejected. I can’t be unsuccessful. I can’t fail.
But the truth is, this limbo of not finishing is the worst kind of failure. To not be willing to take the chance . . . to have taken these characters so far and then abandon them this close to the finish line is a betrayal: of my story, of my craft, of myself. I recently saw a quote from James Cameron that said, “Failure is an option, but fear is not,” and I need to always keep this at the front of my mind. Since I’ve finally reached the point where I am beyond disgusted with myself, I’m hoping it’s the breakthrough I need to make myself start. It will only take rewriting one sentence to get the editing ball rolling. So please excuse me while I go open a certain word document. . . .
What challenges do you face when it’s time to rewrite a novel? Do you struggle with fear of failure? If so, how do you deal with it?