Friday, September 25, 2009
Fear and the First Line
Latayne and Katy, thanks for the wonderful discussions. I've been following with great interest as I travel through the deep, rainy, flooded, humid south. Send water wings!
I'm a good distance into my sixth novel, my first historical fiction, and I hate my first line. In fact, I'm not at all sure where the story begins, although now that I'm over a thousand miles from my manuscript, I'm beginning to see things differently. A little cut-and-paste. A new first scene. That's all it needs.
And fear kills creativity.
And so, I'm done with fear. Fear of disappointing my publisher and readers and myself. I'm headed for the pirate life, at least when it comes to my writing. (My dog will still expect morning walks on schedule.) I'm reckless. A carouser with words and ideas. I swing my sword and jab. Dialogue. Description. Narrative. Take that!
I never expected to be dealing with fear at this stage of the game, but with three of my books already out of print and the publishing world obsessed with the bottom line--as I know they must be--well, I'm c-o-n-c-e-r-n-e-d (Christian-ese for terrified.) I just can't get this story right.
Am I so different? I'm most bold when I feel safe. And this world is not safe.
But Jesus is. He is the one I write for, the one I long to please. I'm sorry to say that I've let things go topsy-turvy now that I'm a "player" in the publishing world. It's time for a course correction. As one of my favorite Sarah Groves songs says, "I live and breathe for an audience of One." That's my goal, anyway.
Is fear keeping you from moving ahead with a writing project? How do you deal with fear of failure? Do you have a writing ritual to remind you for Whom you write? Share!