It’s almost the end of January and I have a confession to make. It’s an embarrassing confession for someone who calls themselves a writer but here it is: I’ve done zero writing since I finished my last book way back in October. That’s three months of doing nothing. Initially I told myself that sitting around and watching re-runs of my favourite TV show was my reward for 8 months of hard work, writing and revising my second novel – and since that show is Castle and has a “writer” in it I felt even more justified!
After a month or so of watching DVD’s, along with catching up with long neglected friends and family it was time to get ready for a month-long trip away over Christmas. This trip wasn’t long in the planning so there was loads of last-minute organising to do which helped feed my procrastination even further. And besides there were still a couple of discs left in that box set I’d bought myself as a reward. After all wasn’t I studying character development, plot arc, romantic tension and back story?
November came and went and at the beginning of December my novel, Essie’s Way was released. Who can be expected to write in the face of all that excitement? Not to mention the social media responsibilities authors have these days. And Season 5!
When mid-December hit it was time to get on a plane and head to London, along with my partner and three daughters, for that white Christmas we’d been wanting for years. London, Paris and 2 weeks skiing in Austria. Sheer bliss and the perfect way to completely get away from it all and clear the head. Here’s a few of my favourite shots from the trip:
The trip was amazing! We’ve been home for almost two weeks now and of course the first week was spent unpacking and overcoming the jet lag. And now I’m running out of excuses –the box set is done and dusted, the holiday is over, my partner is back at work, my daughters, while not quite back at school are amusing themselves on Facebook and Instagram and with their horses. The only person who can’t seem to get back into some sort of routine is me.
Why is that?
Well, to answer my own question, I think it’s the same thing that has stopped me writing before: fear. You’d think once a writer has two books published that whole fear of failure/rejection would have disappeared. In some ways it does – it’s certainly validating to have your books out there on the shop shelves and it’s more than rewarding to receive messages and reviews from readers who’ve enjoyed your books. But there’s still the same of fear that you won’t be able to do it again, that the well has dried up, that you might have been lucky once or twice but that your luck has run out. And that’s where I’ve been for the last few months. Dealing with that dread and allowing myself to wallow in it.
But enough is enough.
It’s almost the end of January. It’s time to get writing again. Time to follow my own advice and write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s garbage. Let the words flow onto the page in whatever form they wish to and see what happens. Time to take action and follow the advice in my favourite quote from Goethe:
Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.
It’s time to take action and begin.
I’d love to hear your thoughts:
How has the start of your 2014 been?
Have you started a new project?
What do you do when fear takes over?