I took the week off to concentrate on finishing my book and also to see if I could be disciplined enough to actually stick to a routine. To be honest, its been a little bit emotional even though (and partly because) I have nearly finished my book.
As for the discipline, I did very well, I got up at 7am every morning and went for a run before coming home, having breakfast and sitting down with my vision board in front of me, my music on and a cat on my lap. I wrote for several hours and have banged out around 15000 words, tied up some lose ends and actually spoken about showing my story to other people.
This conversation induced a mini meltdown. Actually talking out loud about my story and about who I was going to show the story first made it so real. I felt a crushing weight of doubt hang over me and I thought to myself: what if the worst happens and people think that my story is absolutely ridiculous, what if they pity me for believing that I could possibly write a book, what if they think I have gone slightly mad, what if the criticise it to such an extent I lose all confidence in my writing and cannot go ahead with trying to get it published, what if all this time and effort has been for nothing.
What I had is stage fright. I have been writing this story for nearly 2 years. I have kept going with it because I couldn’t really seem to stop myself. Once I started, I couldn’t stop writing. I was writing while I was walking, I was writing while I was running, I was writing while I was travelling, I was writing while I was sitting in mundane jobs and I am writing now instead of doing all the normal things people do with their time outside of work (of which the only thing I can really think of Monday to Friday is watching TV).
To be honest I have actually become a bit of a recluse, I am becoming apprehensive about going out, I am so lost in my writing during the day at times that it is difficult for me to emerge again into the world of people and social skills.
My English Teacher once said to me: “If you could only get what is in your mind onto the page, you would be great”. I am working on that, but I may be going in the opposite direction. I can write down what is in my head but I am finding it more difficult to express what I want to say in speech, in conversation.
The truth is, spoken or written, I am afraid now. I am afraid of showing people that I know my writing. I am afraid of trying to achieve my dreams and I am afraid of achieving them – what then? What will I do without this story? It has been the only thing keeping me going and keeping me grounded these past few months. I feel that everything is about to change now. Either things will start happening with the book or I will give up on it and there will be a huge vacuum in my life.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”, that’s what I keep telling myself. You have to do the things in life that scare you. I have jumped out of an aeroplane, I have left behind everything and everyone I know and travelled to the other side of the world on my own: surely this can’t be as frightening of either of those things. Yet, somehow it is more frightening. Showing people my writing will be like standing in public naked over and over and over again. This is the scariest thing I will ever do. I know that I will go ahead with it anyway and that it will be brave and that I won’t regret it, but right now I feel like I am five years old, vulnerable and unsure of myself. That’s the way you are supposed to feel though, right?