Fear and Procrastination

I’m procrastinating. I’m nearing the end of realizing a major goal. Said major goal? My first completed novel-length rough draft. I’m going to have to make major changes. I’ll probably be splitting it into two to three separate stories because of the current length. I’m at 131.5k words right now. I’m not sure how much longer it will get. I know what the end will be I just haven’t arrived there yet.

I’m procrastinating because I’m afraid of reaching the end.

Reaching the end means embarking on a new goal. I will have to work on the second draft, which, as Neil Gaiman says, is when the author tries to make it look like they knew what they were doing all along.* In fairness to me, I did actually have a fairly good idea of what I was doing in a broad sense. But going back and reading the beginning I can see that I made tweaks during the course of the story that will definitely require rewriting.

If I complete that next goal, the second draft, I’m that much closer to the part that really scares me, though. That’s when I’ll need to get serious about trying to get published.

I’m trying not to think about that too much. I’m trying to stay focused. Reach that first goal, then worry about the next.

Achieving that first goal is so important. I haven’t completed a personal goal pursuing my own dreams in almost twenty years. The last time was when one of my sisters and I spent a month backpacking around Ireland. I turned 18 two days after arriving. After that the goals I achieved were standard adult milestones that society expected of me, or that I believed God expected of me.

I want to succeed and I’m afraid of succeeding.

I’m afraid of succeeding at this first goal, only to fail at the next.

I’m procrastinating.

*Not an exact quote.

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