I have six chapters to write to complete the official rewrite of That which is left is lost. My self-imposed deadline of the 10th July is fast approaching and, although I’m behind schedule, I believe that date is still in reach to complete the manuscript.
However, I’m putting it off.
This isn’t just because I have some major reposibilities at work which are eating into my writing time and messing with my schedule, or linked to the resurfacing of some of my M.E. symptoms that mean marathon writing sessions just aren’t possible – it’s more to do with FEAR.
I am afraid to finish writing my novel.
There, I said it – I’ve announced it to the world. Unlike on previous occasions, when the finishing line was an acheivement to be celebrated, this time I know it signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. This time around other people will see my efforts and provide some critique. While I might be confident that there will be good things to discover, I am certain that there are things to be fixed; some of them quite overwhelming.
In these final six chapters I have to write before ‘The End’ I need to make sure I live up to the promise of the first few chapters. I need to describe the explosion that is the crisis followed by the ‘black moment’ and then wrap up the conflict sufficiently and believably. My characters need to behave for all of this to work – and because I’ve altered the story from my original draft zero (the first attempt, where I discovered story, plot and characters) some characters might have issue with the proposed climax. I have to make sure that everything that has happened previously leads to them making the choices I need them to make without it being contrived or forced. That’s a huge undertaking, even if that’s where it’s been headed all along.
So yes, I am trepidatious about writing these final chapters because I feel they could make or break the novel as a whole. My entire story could fall flat and I could discover that the plot doesn’t work at all. Who wouldn’t be nervous about that?
Still, I also know there are only two solutions:
1) Stop writing the book, put it in a drawer and forget about it.
2) Embrace the fear and finish writing it anyway.
And I’ve come this far, so why would I waste all that hard work and creation now? Anyone who has been following my efforts via the blog knows by now that I am not a quitter, that I will do everything I can to try and then try again to live my dream. I will get around to writing those final six chapters, I know I will. But first, I might just need some time to prepare in order to face the fear.
Have you ever feared finishing something? How do you handle the doubts this late into a project? What makes you ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ in situations like this?
Share your experiences in the comments, or Tweet Me some wise, supportive words to spur me on!