***Just a bit of a warning to let everyone know this post is going to be writing related today.***
As most of you know by now, I love almost anything horror related. Despite said love of horror, little of the genre generally frightens me. This may have something to do with me watching horror movies at a very young age. Then again, maybe I’m just weird.
What am I afraid of?
A psycho killer in a hockey mask, carrying a machete? No, he’s a big mama’s boy.
A possessed Good Guy doll who wants to be my friend until the end? Nope. Try again.
What am I afraid of? In a word: success.
Failure is easy. You get up and you move on. If you can’t get up you crawl. If you can’t crawl you fight for every inch–always moving forward.
You see, I’ve spent much of this past year writing some of this, some of that, and oh yeah, that over there too while BSD is on submission with a few small presses. It’s been a nice distraction from wondering if my hard work will finally bear any fruit. Part of my reluctance to commit to any new manuscript is not wanting to get wrapped up in a new project only to have BSD get accepted by one of those presses. I’d have to stop writing what I was concentrating on and change focus over night. Although I would obviously welcome BSD finding a home, dropping whatever project I was knee deep in would be tough.
I’m the kind of writer that likes to give everything I have to whatever project I’m working on. I don’t like to juggle multiple stories at the same time. It’s funny how this is exactly the situation I’ve created.
And part of my problem is that I believe in BSD so much that I feel dirty for working on something else. It’s like I’m betraying BSD by giving time to another manuscript. Yet I know if BSD fails I must finish another manuscript and go through the submission process all over again.
I’ve done a chapter of one manuscript one day, critiqued for a friend another, worked on some intern stuff the day after that, and wrote a short story the next. I’ve been afraid to let go and leave BSD behind. It’s silly when I sit back and think about it, but I can’t help it.
The good news is I have a zombie short story I really like. I also have a good chunk of a new manuscript done. Plus, I’ve got the first quarter of BSD #2 written as well.
The bad news is I haven’t completed any manuscripts this year…yet. To be honest, I don’t believe I will either. I also don’t believe I’m being productive enough. Shouldn’t I be able to write through anything? Won’t I have to when there are definitive deadlines involved?
Maybe I’m just being a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.
Many other writers say to write as many manuscripts as it takes until being “discovered.” I guess I’m not like those other writers. I tend to be all in and wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m passionate about BSD. I believe it’s fucking awesome. Many of my critique partners like it too. The rational part of my brain knows I can’t stay in this writing limbo forever. I either have to move forward or fade away into nothingness.
For right now I don’t have an answer. Until I find out the fate of BSD I’ll be hanging out in limbo-land while steadily writing what tickles my fancy from day to day. I may be wrong, but my passion for BSD still burns as hot as it did the day I finished writing it. A literary agent I respect, Sara D’Emic of Talcott Notch, once said, “Don’t settle on a good idea, tweak it until it’s fantastic.” That’s a pretty accurate description of how I feel. I don’t want to settle on another manuscript. I want to create a fantastic piece of fiction. And, right or wrong, I can’t do that until I know the fate of BSD…later this year.
As long as I keep moving forward, even if it’s only an inch at a time, I’m still moving toward my goal of being a published writer.
How about you? Are you afraid of success? Failure? Chucky? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!