I was talking to a friend on Twitter today about writing goals and aspirations. He is working diligently on a screen play and obviously is very invested time-wise with his writing career. The subject of my second book came up and he very innocently asked if I had started it.
If Twitter had sound effects, a derisive snort would have accompanied my response that I not only had started it, but that it was done...and, truth be told, it's partially edited. Making this admission to him had an interesting effect on me. The first is that I realized that I have written two books. I've always dismissed the second book as not counting because I haven't yet published it. But, saying to my friend that the book is done and really not far away from being published... Well, I totally see myself in a different light.
I think I may well be a writer.
Maybe not well-paid. Maybe not well-sold. But I did write two books. That's got to count for something.
And I've written short stories that have been published in minor publications, as well as written all the other short stories and poetry that I never tried to publish. Maybe I'm not like all the other "I've written novels since I was two and would die if I didn't write" people. But, maybe--just maybe--I really am a writer.
The second effect was that I thought, "What the hell is wrong with me that I'm not just finishing and publishing the damn thing!" It's been five years--Five years!!--since I started writing the thing and I just keep dragging my feet and ignoring the pleas coming from my laptop to finish the little darling and set it free.
I know I've mentioned this curious procrastination here before. This reluctance (inability?) to get unstuck truly boggles my mind. I have a sneaky suspicion that anxiety is involved somehow. I'll go to write or to edit--I'll WANT to write or edit--and then the What-If's creep in (what if it sucks, what if I suck, etc...) and I just don't.
Yesterday my family and I went to Lincoln for one of the concerts of the Meadowlark Music Festival (Saxophonist Marco Albonetti with percussionist Dane Richeson). Before the concert we went to Barnes and Noble and I went back to the Writing section--a little reluctantly, believe it or not.
Sitting on the shelf was a book called Fearless Writing by William Kenower. I'm not saying this book is going to be the savior of my procrastinating self. Last night, though, I read through the introduction and feel better because if someone wrote a book about "how to create boldly and write with confidence" then it's not just me with this problem.
Do I feel silly? Yes. Part of me is rolling my eyes at the part that is reading a writer's self-help book. But, I want to write. I want to finish my story, I want to figure this out.
Have you heard of the book Fearless Writing? Does fearless writing come naturally to you?