Monday, March 23, 2009

Fear and Nausea

Blink has been finished for a few weeks now. Nano sits waiting for the red pen. The rest of my manuscripts languish in their folders. And here I sit.

I have nothing on submission right now (unless you count last year's full that I never heard back on), and every time I start thinking about putting together a list of agents to query for Blink, I suddenly find something else I need to do.


Well, near as I can figure, I'm chicken. Every time I think about querying Blink, the fear rises inside my stomach until it's either do something else, or look for the nearest porcelain god. The more I think about it, the more it seems like that's my main problem with editing Nano, or even starting a new story.

It's a crippling case of the squirms.

Of course, I wasn't sure what the problem was until I thought about it. If you've been following the old Writing Spectacle, you might know I'm a big fan of introspection. Well, this took a major feat of introspection over this sick thing I've been experiencing. At first I thought I just needed to shake things up. Hence the new blog. Then I questioned my own commitment to this writing llife I've chosen.

In the end, all of that was smoke and mirrors. The real problem, and the one that was so hard to figure out, is that I'm scared shitless. I mean, not scared like there's a madman with a gun who's going to hack off my finer bits if I don't write, but scared nonetheless.

What if I send Blink out and fail... again? Ek, I can feel myself getting queasy just thinking about it.

What if I can't edit Nano to the point where it all comes together and makes sense? :gack:

Or worse. What if I've lost it? What if the spark that produced Spectacle and RTL and Manhunter has gone out? :shudder: Pepto, anyone?

These are the things I've been so desperately avoiding these past few weeks... Okay, months. I don't want to stare fear in the face, and every time I try, I get the nausea instead. It's my body's way of pulling a Monty Python: "Run away! Run away!" No wonder even spring cleaning looks preferable.

I haven't figured out what I'm going to do about this. I sure as hell haven't beaten it yet. Right now I just want to crawl back to bed and claim that I'm still not up to snuff physically to fight this mental battle. (Being sick is a great excuse, btw, but that's all it is. It's not like I can't sit here and work with a box of Kleenex next to me. I won't type as fast, but my fingers aren't sick.)

I keep telling myself it's okay, and I've earned some down time, but I know that the longer I let this fear take hold, the harder it will be to defeat. Last time it was nine months without writing, and I can't afford to let that happen again.

The best I can do right now is hold firm. Draw a line in the sand and say 'this far and no further'. And when I've got the battle plan figured out, move the line. Push the fear back into the dark recesses of my subconscious where it belongs - right alongside my fear of grasshoppers.

Until then, though, I'm a little stuck. I refuse to go back, and I can't move forward. *shrug*

Such is the life of a writer, I guess. Or maybe just this writer.

How about you? What are you afraid of?


  1. Suck it up and submit. What am I afraid of? Nothing.

  2. I go through a similar case of squirmies every single time I submit. It is what it is but, yes, you still have to submit. And if you can't write in the meantime, then read :)


  3. I have high hopes for Blink.

    How about starting out with a small batch of five? That way, you're getting it out there. If requests come in, awesome. If not, you know it's not the end of the road and there's plenty more on the list.

    What am I afraid of? Getting worse instead of improving with each manuscript.