Second Draft Terrors

If novel writing is a marathon, then my first draft was running a marathon after years of working on short sprints. In other words, it was exhausting. I don’t know how I did it. Except now I am rewriting the whole thing and have to do it all over again.

Is it any wonder I avoided my second draft for months?

I’m afraid of the work. I’m afraid I am lazy. I’m afraid I am really a short-fiction writer with delusions of novel-writing. I’m afraid that after I write this entire draft I will have to find the fortitude to re-write the entire thing again. I’m afraid I won’t find it.

I’m afraid it all sucks. I am likewise afraid that I am writing something good and not good enough to live up to the task of doing it. I’m afraid that I bit off more than I can chew. I’m afraid that it will be too short because there’s not enough there. I’m afraid I’m not as over my revise-o-phobia as I thought. I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing and don’t have the mental will to stubbornly do it anyway.

I’m afraid that my own newfound impatience with other writers for having fears is really impatience with myself. GETOVERIT, Sonal. Write anyway.

I’m afraid that everything I have written here about getting past fear and writing in spite of it reveals me to be a fraud.

I’m afraid that if I don’t get this draft done for my thesis deadline I will be THAT student, and I am also afraid that once I am out of this MFA I will never be able to write anything this long again because there is no deadline pressure or fear of being THAT student. I’m afraid that left to my own devices I will write jack shit.

I’m afraid that my life is too chaotic right now for me to be doing this. I’m afraid that my life will never be less chaotic. I’m afraid that the things I say about the chaos of my life are a weak excuse for not writing because somehow I still find it in me to keep up with Masterchef.

I’m afraid I like discipline. Scratch that, I know I lack discipline. I’m afraid I won’t be able to develop enough to really be a writer.

I’m afraid I’m not really a writer. (There’s a fear I haven’t felt in a while.) I’m afraid I’m just playing at this.

I’m afraid there is no point in talking about any of this because everyone has those fears including the people who write fifteen drafts per novel. (Bastards!)

I’m afraid that I already know better than to get mired up in fear. I’m afraid that I’ve been giving lip service to courage all this time because deep down inside I just don’t have the guts. I’m afraid I’m all talk, no writing. I’m afraid all the magic courage fairy is not coming for me because there is no magic courage fairy.

I’m afraid I should be writing my book instead of this blog.

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