the finish line (may cut my head off)

OMG. OMG. As of this post I’m down to the last eight scenes in my second draft(!) This is wonderful. This is terrifying.

I’ve spent 3 days trying to congeal my anxiety into a post while John Adamus nails my mood in 140 characters.

Nonetheless, my own blatherings: Second draft = putting the whole thing in front of beta readers time. Structural errors that I could excuse as “covered in another chapter” when readers only read excerpts will now be writ large. Shallow emotions, poor cause and effect, loose ends, red herrings: all will be glaringly obvious in context.

I know – it’s why one has beta readers. I’m just nervous that these errors won’t only reveal what I need to fix but what I can’t. Maybe because it’s beyond my ability. Maybe because who am I to write about people like I understand how they work, how dare I?


In short, I’m afraid of what the story will say about me as a person, rather than about my ability to write.

A wise friend once told me about my fencing that no single competition defines one’s worth as a fencer or as a person–a crucial distinction for me as I too often conflate what I do with who I am. It’s no different with writing. If my book sucks it doesn’t mean I’m an awful person.

But if it sucks too badly to salvage it does mean I’ve spent four years on a cold, dead turkey. Which is a lovely “learning experience” but it sure as hell won’t feel like it.

But at the end of my chat with Mr. Adamus he posed the question:

The goal is making this book as good as I can before seeking a professional editor. But to do that I need other eyes to notice the things I can’t anymore.

I’m going to get there by [cringe] putting it out there and letting beta readers rip it to shreds. Even if it hurts. Even if they tell me things I don’t want to hear.

What about you? In your endeavors, do you ever freeze to a point that you just can’t finish what you started? How did you move past it?

self-promotion vs. impostor syndrome: the never-ending conflict

I’ve grown disturbingly comfortable with talking myself up.

I say “disturbing” because it goes against everything my inner idiot constantly mutters in the background: who cares what you thinkyou’re no expert and the inevitable you’re totally making this up as you go along, aren’t you?

Well, yeah, I am.

I go through the motions and try not to think about it. Fence, sew, write like I know what I’m doing to trick myself into being the expert I’m pretending to be. On very good days I believe it, but every misstep is a cue for the inner idiot to hiss in my ear again.

It’s called “impostor syndrome” and I provide no links as you all know how to Google. The job search has me bumping up against it even more than usual.

three bunnies...and a bunny slipper. One of us is not who he seems

Promoting the as-yet-unfinished book (and by extension, myself) is extra practice at silencing the inner idiot so I can get through interviews without sweating through my suit.

So, as in every other facet of my life, practice makes perfect (or, at least, better). Anyone else out there feel like they’re just winging it through life? How do you get through that?