Born two months premature, I could wear a tea cup for a hat and my first clothes previously fit a baby doll. As I grew older my dad used to say, “Susan was born early and has been late ever since.” Thankfully I overcame the tardy habit and now prefer to be like a train, on time. That is why I hate deadlines. They make it hard to be on time. Yes, they do motivate and spur me on to do superhuman feats in short time frames, but that does not mean I willingly give myself a deadline or gracefully demur when given one by another party. Upon consideration, I think my distaste for having a hard date to finish a project has a lot to do with fear of failure.
Having reached the ripe age of…never mind, I am not telling you how old I am. Suffice to say I am of voting and drinking age times at least two. Having reached this certain age, one would think I would have gained enough wisdom to turn my nose up at worrying about failure. Wrong. The fear of failure can render me immobile, as evidenced by my recent foray into novel writing. No amount of writing guild classes, NaNoWriMo marathons and writing prompt exercises have prepared me for attempting a multifaceted novel.
Currently, I am on chapter five and stuck. I am second and third guessing every concept and find I am terrified of blowing this. I am scared into considering deadlines. I have now passed through the Twilight Zone and entered the first circle of writing hell. I liken it to being on a spit and slow roasted above a cozy blaze of coals. Characters sit in rooms and refuse to move or talk, permanent dusk has settled on the scenery and all of nature has fallen silent. It is up me to cry “Action!” to get everything moving again, bring the landscapes to life and wake the birds, crickets and bees to cue the sound.
There it is again. After my motivational word picture I am stuck. Even threatening to set a deadline, I am still stuck. What do you suppose it is going to take to get me out of this writing quicksand?