In less than two days, I’m heading off to California for a weekend writing workshop, and I’m terrified. I feel so under-prepared for the weekend. My novel still has about three chapters left to be finished. There are plot holes and consistency issues galore. My second chapter is in shambles. I wanted to take something more polished, not my roughest of rough drafts. But I’m out of time.
I meant to have this novel finished, oh, back in December or January at latest. Instead I have a mess of plot and characters and world building, and I know I can do so much better without someone prodding me to do so. I think that is the heart of my fear, that I will be taken as less of a writer than I feel I have the potential to be.
And yet…what’s so bad about that? What if my roughest of rough drafts is actually not too shabby? What if the rough draft makes someone want to see the finished product? I mean, that’s something, isn’t it?
Everyone has fears of not being good enough. There’s an epidemic of self-loathing. I am aware of it, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune. And something as subjective as writing, well, it is scary to put that out there for other people to judge. But I’m still going to do it.
I have been called brave few times in my life. But the times that I have, it has been related to writing. People say I’m “brave” to send out my manuscripts to likely rejection, that it’s “brave” to strive for publication. Maybe it is. I certainly don’t feel brave. I feel small, a lone warrior against an army of thousands.
But perhaps that’s the point of being brave. It’s doing something in the face of impossible odds and petrifying fears anyway, because you must.
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk