I think it’s time to admit it: I am a coward.  It’s the only somewhat reasonable (but at the same time completely illogical) explanation I can come up with.  For weeks now I have been avoiding my book.  Oh, I’m not avoiding writing-related activities.  In fact, I’ve been using them to help me avoid my book.  I write entries for my blog (Case. In. Point.  Please consider example “A”).  I work on editing/revising my last manuscript.  I look up information on contests.  I read articles about what makes good titles and how to make your characters believable.  I re-read old books I wrote years ago (that’s right: see my previous blog entry to note another way in which I was practicing evasion techniques).  And yet, primarily, I am just avoiding.

I know the reason.  And, I don’t know the reason.  That is to say, I know the reason behind the reason.  Or, possibly, the reason for the reason?  Whatever.  It’s the result of not having worked on the book in a long time.  When life forces me to take unrequested and unappreciated breaks from regular writing (such as what happened in the final days of completing my Master’s degree), I become too distant from my book.  Then, when I am finally able to once again pursue my passion, pick back up where I left off wooing my characters, I get cold feet.  The question is: why?  What am I afraid of?  Do I fear rejection?  That my characters will feel abandoned and refuse to work with me (“I’m going to my trailer: I can’t work like this!”).  Do I think I think I can’t remember where I was and where I was going with the story?  I don’t think that’s it, because I am constantly playing scenes over and over in my mind, working on details.  Maybe it’s simply a fear I have lost the flow, the fluency, and the seams won’t meet up nicely.  In my head, I know that’s silly: that’s the whole point of editing and revising.  But I still find myself shying away, doing everything on the computer except clicking on that one file.  I think about working on my book.  I think about it all the time.  I want to all the time.  But every time I have an opportunity, I begin evasive maneuvers and once again, my characters are left twiddling their collective thumbs.

No more!  This cowardice must end!  Like the Lion in Oz, I must face my fear.  Okay, maybe not the best example.   But tomorrow I WILL put metaphorical pen to paper; it is decided!  Or rather, later today, as it is already past midnight.   “A day may come when we give into the fear that would take our hearts, when our courage fails, when we forsake our characters and break all bonds of writer and story, but it is not this day!  An hour of blank screens and abandoned keyboards, when the age of storytelling comes crashing down!  But it is not this day! This day WE WRITE!”  And on that bad paraphrase, I am singing out.

~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on August 8, 2013.

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