Several weeks ago I wrote a post titled The End Approaches, excited that the end of my current fantasy project was a mere couple of chapters away. I’ve recently realized that I’m afraid to finish it.
That excited post was several weeks ago. My wrist injury and various illnesses kept me away from my computer, and, to be honest, it’s been tough getting back into a writing routine. I haven’t written much this week. Partly because this week has been difficult for me. I’m no longer working part-time. I’m not going to go into the details here, because I’ve seen too many stories of people facing consequences for saying something wrong about a major company on social media, and I’m not willing to take any chances. However, the loss of that job hit me harder than I expected it to. I didn’t like it, but having it suddenly disappear from my life has been disorienting and a bit depressing.
Today marks the beginning of a new week, and I thought I was excited to finally have concentrated time to pound out the rest of my story. But whenever I think I have time to write, I keep deciding to do something else instead. And I finally realized that I was avoiding the project, an action born out of fear.
It sounds kind of silly, but I think I’ve mentioned it in passing before. Right now, I’m safe. The project is still in its early stages, and is noticeably incomplete. There are no expectations for it. It could stay in this state forever, and remain safe. But if I finish it? It has the potential to hurt me. In my head, I can acknowledge that day is still months away. There’s still editing to do, and more editing, and beta readers to contact, and then more editing. I’m considering sending it to a freelance editor this time before I try to hook an agent. That’s a lot of work, and a lot of time between now and possible publishing. But it doesn’t have to get done if I never finish the project.
This week is going to be about conquering this fear. I’ve felt it before, at the end of every project that I hoped would go somewhere. I felt it a few weeks ago right before I hit the “submit” button on my January contests. It’s a familiar fear, probably even healthy, but one that I refuse to live with. I refuse to let fear of failure hold me back. Or fear of success, for that matter.
I probably won’t finish the project this week. But I will work on it consistently, and I won’t let the fear win.