Okay.

Dear Me,

You’ve finished the short story. Now it’s on to bigger things. Like the novel you’ve been wanting to write forever.

*deep breath*

This can be exciting and fun, all right? It doesn’t have to be terrifying. Stop being freaked out for a minute and let’s think about all the good things that could happen.

Awesome things that could happen when I try to write this novel:

– I succeed in writing it.

– I learn more about writing.

– I actually write it.

Terrifying things that could happen when I try to write this novel:

– I’ll fail (again, like the million other times I’ve considered it or attempted)(but were you really serious those times?)(but are you really serious now?)(/end parenthesis rant)

– I’ll finish it, but it will be really terrible.

You know what, scratch that. Even if it is terrible, that doesn’t matter as much to me anymore as just accomplishing having finished a novel.

Why am I so determined to write one, even? Because the need began to pull at me as early as in the third grade when I discovered Nancy Drew, and began writing my own stories. I don’t know. It’s just been a need in me since I was a child, now. It’s not even that I have a specific story to tell – only that I feel like I need to get one down, that I want to have created a book, that I need to have put something complete down on paper.

So. How can I get excited about approaching this project versus the anxiety and panic that rises up in me  when I start to think about beginning it?

Things I can try:

– Smile. Smiling really does change the flow of thoughts in my head, can put the brakes on a bad tide of anxiety and reverse its direction, remind me to think positive.

– Think about the story I’m going to write, and wonder about what might happen in it. I’m not sure myself, so it could be exciting/interesting to see where it goes.

– Think about how I’ll feel once I’ve finished it (relieved? accomplished? proud? triple combo?).

 

Okay, time for some red wine and Buffy. I feel a little better now, though. Maybe a little mildly excited to start day 1 of Project Novel tomorrow (I just made that name up! But I kind of like it), but mostly still freaked out. Stop it! Get excited. Good things could come out of this. No more glass half empty for you tonight. Fill it up with more wine, instead.

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