I am closing in on finishing this first draft of my first novel, and I am fucking terrified.

This is the biggest thing I’ve ever written, and the end is barreling down on me like a freight train packed with high explosives, saxophone-playing ninjas and intelligence-enhanced dinosaurs (none of which are in this novel, but, dude, wouldn’t that rock?). It’s going to be a bit of a relief to knock this whole thing out and let it mellow, and…oh my God, it’s going to suck.

I know that I’ll be ironing out all the creases and puttying over the cracks in the second (and third, and fourth, and on and on until the nth-until-accepted) draft, but this is still scary, man. I’ve been working on this thing since July of 2007, though, really, I haven’t put my ass in the chair with regularity until April (yay, underemployment!). It’s been good and hard and frustrating and fun getting these words out and driving this train to the end of the exploding, musical, dinosaur-laden line.

But what if what I’ve written sucks? What if I can’t save it? What if I’ve been wasting my time?

The only saving grace is that I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever written anything has felt the same way. I can’t be the only one who looks at a draft and gets the pants scared off him. I know not to put the cart before the horse. I know, I know, I know.

That doesn’t make it any easier. Fortunately, that’s why God invented pie.

6 thoughts on “Can I tell you a secret?

  1. “The only saving grace is that I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever written anything has felt the same way.”

    This. Hellz yes. I write for a living and my moments of “wow, that’s awesome” are few and far between. Learn to live with it, author boy. :)

  2. Congratulations!

    I think I might celebrate by rereading my So New Media copy of “Greaseguns and Feathers”, which I just located on the shelf above my desk.

    What kind of pie will you be eating to sooth your self doubt? Just out of curiosity. :)

  3. I think a cherry-strawberry pie will do the trick, seeing how both are in season right now.

    But it’ll probably wind up becoming a slice of Shadenfreude pie.

  4. You should read “on writing” by stephen king… or better yet, check out the audio book from the library and let king read it to you. good inspiration and practical advice. Listening to this book convinced me that I should never be a writer.

  5. What I learned from Stephen King was that writers have to:
    (a) Read a lot
    (b) Sit down and write… in a room… by themselves.

    I don’t read that much and I hate sitting at a computer alone to write. I’m more social. I want to live like a writer, grilling up street pigeons in paris, but I really don’t have what it takes to be a writer.

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