I've slowly come to realize that the more you put off something, the more it haunts you and making excuses to justify putting that thing off never really quells that need. I will be the first to admit that when its come to getting my book out there, I have been the world's biggest procrastinator.
Sure I finished my first draft...a feat in and of itself. But what then? I'd written plenty of long short stories (I realize that is a bit of an oxymoron), and all they did is sit around collecting dust.
So did my poor first draft.
Sure I had a lot of things happening in my life that were equally as exciting as a book. Losing lots of weight, getting in better shape. Finding a new found love in roller derby and moving up more at work.
But in the back of my head I knew my draft was just sitting there... doing absolutely nothing. Even when things took a turn for the worse at work, and I found myself with less responsiblity and therefore more time to devote to my draft. Even then I didn't touch it.
As I sat up last night, FINALLY finishing up the second draft, I realized what it was that kept stopping me. Writing has been something I wanted to do since I was a kid. What if I fail?
What if this story sucks so bad that nobody ever wants to read another thing that I write? What then?
The fear of failing is scary and I am facing it head on both with writing and with derby. I am only 20 seconds away from being able to play in a game. I have one more requirement to meet and thats 25 laps in 5 minutes. Last time I retested on my laps I freaked myself out so bad beforehand I was literally shaking when I skated onto the track.
Part of me doesn't want to go back after missing my laps again, but I know I started roller derby for a reason. Just like I started a serious goal of publishing my stories.
Failure isn't an option. It is only failure if I stop.
If I don't put my skates back on.
If I don't finish my editing and put my book out there.
If I don't do these things then I will fail. I will never know what I could have done with either.
So, no more procrastination. My second draft of Mistaken is now done. Within a week it will be in the hands of a trusted friend and will be edited and I will be starting work on another book.
And tomorrow night, I will be at practice...skating my laps once again.
I am refusing to let myself fail. Maybe I won't be great at either, but as I have heard my derby sisters say.
"If you never go for a hit, you won't know if you could have done it. If you fall, just get back up and throw another one."