The novel I’m working on right now has nearly been the end of me.
I wrote four novels (three were published, one’s in the drawer) and one nonfiction book over a four year period. And yet it’s taken me nearly that long just to get to the halfway point of my current novel.
I should have been confident about this new novel. I’ve written novels! I’ve been published by a major publisher! I spent years in this business and have seen it all!
And yet for several years I was plagued with a really serious, gnawing, crippling doubt: what if I never finish it?
What if I just talk about writing but I never actually write? What if that whole writing thing was just a certain point of time in my life that is now gone?
Ironically enough, as so many fears do, this one became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I became so fearful of this novel… I didn’t work on it enough. I completely made my fear real.
Earlier this year I was finally able to banish some of these fears from my head and start charging forth with the writing. I started chipping away and chipping away, passed the halfway point, and now, for the first time in years, I’m confident I’m actually, really going to finish.
The lesson I’ve learned: fears have a way of making themselves real.
The thing you’re scared of has a frightening tendency to make itself a reality. Banish those fears, focus on your goal, and even though it’s so much easier said than done, try not to doubt yourself.
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.
Art: The Fisherman by George Bellows