Monday, April 8, 2013

Camp Day "1": Getting started again

Hello, my name is Maggie, and I am terrified of rereading what I've written.

(This is where you all say, "Hi, Maggie.")

I knew when I registered for Camp that I was going to be a few extra days behind. My weekends are claimed by guests until the end of the month. This weekend was the biggest one that involved the most cleaning and "proper hosting" (Not just my mother staying over, but my mother-in-law as well for dinner!) I knew from the get-go that unless I wanted to pull late nights, writing was not going to happen this weekend. "I'll start on Monday."

But that was all lies, wasn't it? I had the time to write after the guests went to bed, and I have no trouble with late nights. I was up until 3 writing my 2000 words last NaNo when we had guests. I had plenty of time. I could have done it. So why is my wordcount still 0?

Those 6000 words terrify me. I know I have to reopen that document, reread what I had and start adding to where I left off. It shouldn't be hard. The book's not judging me. It's only a first draft. It's full of hopes to be hoped, dreams to be dreamt, and adventures to be had. It's so small, but I am so scared to open it and make myself read what I wrote a year ago that I convinced myself I wouldn't have the time. I liked what I had then. I've reread the other NaNos I won with (We'll talk about editing later...). What is it about this little barely-begun story that scares me so much more than the others? Is it because it's a reminder of my failure? Am I afraid that it's not as good or I'm not as good as I thought? I really don't know. I just know it intimidates me. Thinking about it makes my stomach churn.

No excuses tonight. No more waiting. I have to do this.

But why is it so hard?


  1. It's hard for everyone. Part of it may be that this is unfinished, whereas the rest were done. When it's done, it may be crap, but it's finished crap. Unstarted, you can build something from the void. Started and unfinished, you're caught in between. You've already set a standard. It's no longer the infinite unknowable. You have the fear of the unknown. Where's it going to go? What What if you can't regain the momentum that you had? What if you never finish? What if you have to start from square -1? What if you're the worst writer on the planet? What if what you've build topples and laughs in your face, and crushes your dreams of the finished bunny? And so on.

    I went through this exact same thing myself with Dark Arcana at the tail end of March. After putting in all that work for three months, I was terrified to open it. Well, I finally did it, knowing I would have to face Camp sooner or later. (There, that deadline helped.)

    Unfortunately, it was just as terrible as I thought, but the only one laughing in my face was myself. Not even Henry laughed. In that way, it wasn't so bad. Words don't bite. They really don't. Remember, with a first draft, there is no guilt, and no stress. Once you allow it to be as bad or good as it is, with no standard setting, you'll be able to face it clearly.

    (Says the woman who's only halfway through her craptacious draft. >_>)

    Erm. Anyway. I'll curtail this essay by saying, you can do it!

    Something to cheer you on, which actually has nothing to do with writing...

  2. I know how you feel. Once I finish this story I need to go back to the one I started on my first NaNo (I won, but the thing is no where near done). Rereading that one scares me, but that's okay. Think of it like an old friend that you haven't spoken with in months/years/etc. You'll find some joy in catching up, but it may not be all that you remembered and that is okay. We just have to go on from there.:)