Feeling the Fear…and Doing It Anyway?

I wish…

A couple of weeks ago now, I got a long revise/resubmit letter for Midnight Sun. I printed out the manuscript because I need to break it into chunks–and the manuscript is just sitting here. Now, granted, last week was rough–family drama starting on the snow day and not over yet, and 3 late nights at school. But you know me, I can usually push through all that. Heck, I wrote Beneath the Surface when my grandmother was in the hospital, just so I could have control of something.

So what’s stopping me? Fear. I’m scared to death I can’t meet my editor’s expectations. It’s not that she wasn’t very clear. She was. But she wants me to dig deeper into the characters, into the story, and I just don’t know if I can.  I know I need to, but to rise to the level she’s asking? I don’t know. And the mechanics of doing it–I don’t know that, either. I thought of going scene by scene, but I can’t make myself even open the document.

How do you overcome this kind of fear?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MaryC
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 19:15:13

    I’m sorry you’re struggling so with this. I’d say just open a scene and start.
    Look at all you’ve accomplished and dig deep within yourself for the person who wouldn’t say no.

    Good luck!

    You know where to find me if you need a pep talk.


  2. Natalie J. Damschroder
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 19:19:53

    I have SO been there!

    First, I avoid it too long. Once the fear moves from something huge (can I do it justice?) to something very manageable (I’m gonna be LATE), it seems easier to overcome, I guess.

    Then, I attack it with organization. I set up Kresley Cole’s tracker for how many pages I need to get done each day. If it’s more chunked up and less linear than that, I lay out the steps I need to take and an approach for handling it.

    Then I start small and move up. Address the easiest things first. That gets me into the rhythm and accomplishing something gets me past the fear.

    Good luck!


  3. mjfredrick
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 06:30:41

    Thanks, Natalie. She didn’t give me a deadline, which is probably bad, so while it’s niggling at the back of my head, it’s kinda like my taxes–I can put THAT off. I just need to sit down with it this weekend and break it apart so I can put it back together.


  4. Elisabeth Crisp
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 09:08:36

    Pick just one place, a few pages, and play a game with it. I use the Donald Maass workbook. Choose a single exercise, and try it. Usually, that gets me over the fear of starting.

    You know what you need to do, but everybody needs a nudge now and then to get going. Don’t be hard on yourself.


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