Starting, and the Fear of Failure

August 20, 2011

Why is it so difficult to start something big?

One of my Big Dreams in life is to publish a novel. Yeah yeah, I know, add me to the list of about a billion other people. But that’s okay.

To publish a novel, you have to write a novel. To write a novel, you have to, well, WRITE STUFF.

I started my novel back in… 2008? During NaNoWriMo. I wrote about 18,000 words (I think). And then it just sat there.

A few months ago I decided I really needed to get back to it. So I printed it out and put it in a binder. And now I’m am terrified to read it.

I know that I will restart it, and that it was just a jumping point. But it is so scary to read your own work sometimes. To admit that some stuff you write isn’t good, or it totally sucks.

My ideas for the novel have changed. It is constantly in the back of my brain. I know that it will be a “work in progress” for a very long time, and that it will change and grow and I will add and delete.

So why is it so damn hard to START?

The fear of failure is a really difficult fear to overcome. If I don’t start, I can’t fail, right?

Except… that really is the epitome of failure, right? Not doing it at all? Isn’t it braver to risk something?

Tomorrow, I will start. I will read the words that I already wrote. I will attack it with a red pen. I will make some lists. And I will also start fresh… and write something.

I was browsing Pinterest (be careful, it’s addicting!) and came across a quote that I needed to see.

How true is that? I need to write a novel. And it can be very rough, and it can be terrible, and it can need a lot of editing… but isn’t that so much better than it not being anything? I would have a completed first draft. And that is something.

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One Response to “Starting, and the Fear of Failure”

  1. You can do it! I so wish I would have kept my beginnings of books that I started over the years. I was convincedI was going to be a famous author.

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