Writing is scary.
I wonder sometimes if we authors admit that enough.
Finishing a series gives me knots of anxiety in my stomach, and stress-dreams, and fresh fear about the next project that looms. Because they always LOOM, you know? Deadlines loom. New things cast shadows in my mind, shadows of doubt about capability to finish, to pull it off, to deliver.
Maybe that isn’t so different from other things in life, but it feels like a microcosm of life in the sense that I’m always starting and finishing these big, emotional journeys with the books, and it’s exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.
I’ve started work on the sequel to A Gift of Poison in earnest now that I’ve finished revisions on In Dawn and Darkness. This is scary for me because I really, really love the characters in AGoP in a way that’s very personal, because I’ve carried them in my mind for a long time (I wrote the first draft of that book about 10 years ago). I want to do right by them by giving them a good story. By really telling the story well.
I have to do some mental coaching to psyche myself up for it at times. I talk myself to the cliff, and then I talk myself into jumping. And I have to write the parachute.
It. Is. Scary.
I think a big piece of the fear is facing my own thoughts about things, and another piece is the way the story changes as it takes shape on paper. I want it to be GOOD. I worry it won’t be. That I’ll write it the end, and the whole thing will collapse on itself. I always have the fear of “what if I can’t finish?"
It's like I have to keep proving each time that I can and I will.
With writing, as with man things, the only way out is through.