Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yesterday: Sick; Today: Scared

I'm back! Did you miss me? No? Fine, don't worry about it then.

Nevertheless, I'm back from a one-day forced sickie (and yes, I was sick). A bout of the local flu had me in all sorts on Tuesday and yesterday, I woke feeling horrid. So I stayed home and didn't get up to much at all. Except a bit of thinking.

This morning, the alarm went off at 6.30. It was time to get back into my (ir)regular writing routine. And this morning, it was time to do that one thing I've been wanting to start for over two years. Yes! My novel!!

But I didn't get up. Yes, I still wasn't 100% healthy and yes, I was more than a little bit tired and yes, the bed was sooo warm and toasty. But there was also a part of me that didn't get up because I was just a little bit scared.

This confirmed my thinking from the previous day. It had been in the afternoon. I was lying there on the couch with my runny nose, sore throat and head full of phlegm and I was thinking about my novel. As mentioned above, I have made the decision to start my first novel ASAP. My rationale is that I would like to be published in the U.K. and I'm not sure how much longer we will be staying here.

So, I thought to myself, I better get cracking! To hell with the preamble and preparation and all that rubbish; let's get started!

Then I thought - what I will do first is re-read Stephen King's On Writing and my course notes on novel writing and make a few more notes, some kind of guidance or crib sheets to keep me on track.

And then it hit me: I was dancing around my handbag. I was procrastinating. I was delaying that moment when I would have to sit down and start the novel.

Because I am scared.

The same thing happened this morning. I planned to get up and get started, but part of me was frightened.

Frightened that I won't know where to start. Frightened that I won't be able to write a single coherent word. Frightened that my novel is going to be rubbish. Frightened that it will become all too clear that I can't cut the mustard when it comes to writing novels. Frightened that I will be forced to live out my days as a lowly accountant.

Frightened of failure when it all boils down to it.

I know the remedy for this "Novelophobia" is to just get on with it and start writing (tonight, damn you!) but it's making me very anxious indeed.

Obviously all authors go through it, either on their first novel, their second (due to the expectation attached to it) or every novel they write. But that doesn't make me feel better.

How do I overcome it?!

One idea is to just have fun with it. One of things that I wanted to ensure when writing this novel is to enjoy it; enjoy the process of writing. If I don't have at least some fun writing a novel then, well, it ain't worth it.

So, maybe, that's where I should start - drop the pressure, discard all the self imposed rules and just enjoy it. That should be easy, as I am such a carefree, easy going kinda guy whose troubles are like water off a duck's back. Yeah, just have fun with it. No need to be scared at all.

Not . . . scared . . . at . . . all.


Mummy!!! I want my mummy!!!

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