The summer has come and gone, and my junior year of college is approaching rapidly (read: seven days). I feel I made good progress in my writing in California over the summer but I have done nothing with it. Absolutely nothing.
Well, okay, maybe that isn’t true. I came out with fresh insight on one short story, wrote another (which I edited last week and am hoping to have published soon), and began a third (fourth? I lost track long ago) novel which I may or may not pursue at some point far in the future. I have seven novel ideas floating around, either partially written or just thought bubbles in the ether.
But with all these ideas, I’m still no closer to my goal of publication than before. My issue? Procrastination. But no ordinary procrastination, no. I’m too afraid to write. Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? It is for me, too, but it’s the truth. I come up with a new idea, get really excited, get about halfway through the planning phase, and freeze. The thought of actually putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and shattering the illusion of perfection I’ve surrounded my story with when it was still non-existent is terrifying. It frustrates me, but I haven’t been able to do anything about it. And the thought of another human being reading my work? Impossible.
That’s where the title of this blog post comes in. I’ve been reading through the blog of a fellow writer by the name of Layla Messner whom I met on Twitter. That’s when I realized: I need to get over this crippling fear! She sets specific goals for herself and writes, on average, six hours per day. While I may not be able to write quite so much during the school year, I need to do something. Layla has recently received representation with the Donald Maass Literary Agency in the form of Amy Boggs (whom I also follow on Twitter). That’s my dream, to have my work recognized and enjoyed (hopefully) by readers. But it can’t happen if I don’t write anything at all.
As I wrap up this post, I’m glancing over at my pink notebook, blue revising pen, giant yellow legal pad, and copy of Writing Fiction for Dummies. It’s time, my friends. It’s been too long.