Heyo, fans and random readers. It’s September! I’ve been doing this thousand words a day thing for 8 solid months. Pretty sweet, huh? This is the 35th week of the year (I think), and I’m two thirds of the way done. Things are going good, and I’m reasonably confident that I will finish the year. I might miss a day. I might miss several. Hard to say. But I’m very confident I’ll have written 365,000 words by the end of the year, which in terms of the true goal of the year (to write a fuckton) I will have succeeded.
So why am I terrified?
Every day that passes is another chance for me to stop. Another day I might say “this is the day I take a break” and then never go back to writing. The pressure is mounting. Can I do it? Will I do it? Will I keep writing after the year is done? When will I manage to edit the novels I’m writing?
I’ve been through the submissions phase, I’ve done self publishing, I’ve written more than a few novels over my career. Why is this year so important against my past accomplishments?
Why does the idea that I’ll fail to keep going still cause me to lose sleep at night?
I don’t have an easy answer for you. I’m a legit writer/author/novelist. I was that before I ever started this year of writing. But so often I feel like the act of writing is some ghostlight that I’m chasing through a darkened wood, and if I lose sight of it for even a moment I’ll lose it forever and be trapped in an inescapable prison.
I don’t want to lose this momentum. The terror of never finding it again trumps all other stresses in my life, and yet I never want to let go.
I truly understand, for the first time, why routine is so hard to maintain for things like dieting and exercise, anything that requires commitment, hard work, and steadfast nature. It’s not that it’s just so easy to quit. It’s that the only person you’re accountable to is yourself, and if you fail yourself, how can you possibly keep from failing anyone else?
I wrote a post on here a couple weeks ago that was basically me bragging about how good I was doing this year. Posturing and patting myself on the back. This is the inverse of that post. This is me telling myself that I can’t quit. That I won’t quit. No matter how much I want to quit. Because I don’t want to disappoint myself. I don’t want to fail.
And I’m terrified of it.
And that’s perhaps a good thing. Fear as a motivator, in the short term, is one of the best. Once that fear has been overcome, it is replaced with confidence and ability. I proved I can do this thing, so I will keep doing it. I proved I can write, so I will keep writing. I may not write every day of my life, but it will always be a part of who I am and what I do, no matter what my fear wants me to believe.
I will always write the hell on, and if you want to be a writer, never forget to do the same.