Is it real? I think maybe it might be. It’s sort of like being a parent. Everything we write, they’re all our babies.
The longer pieces are like teen-aged children. They take much longer to finish growing up, and even then we still have to send them off to college to polish them up a little bit. There is that fear of letting them out into the world on their own, because from that moment on, it’s pretty much all on them. Sink or swim, we’ll finally know for sure what our children are made of.
Will they soar to the heavens like we know they have the potential to do? Will they become stars? Or will they just sink into oblivion like millions, billions, of others because they’re just not as original as we like to think they are? We worry about our written babies in the same way.
Will it be a best seller?
Will it launch my career?
Is it really good enough, perfect enough?
Will anyone buy it at all?
Will it really be typo free?
Will anyone like it?
Is the cover a design that portrays the feel and theme of the book?
Is the text legible enough in a thumbnail size to be easily read by browsing customers?
The questions go on, most of the questions coming up several times in the span of that first minute.
I know this because it’s how I feel any time I get close to finishing. And then I don’t finish because my best friend, Self Doubt, sits down next to me and gives me a really good talking too. Is there any chance my real best friend, Encouragement, could sit down with me and have a conversation?
Maybe the two of us could get together some day and change the locks so Self Doubt (what a bitch she is!) can’t even get into my house anymore.
I guess the point is, I’m what you might call… afraid to finish my stories. Why? Because of all those questions and so many more. Because when it’s done, it’s out of my hands. Kind of like in September when my son will plunk his little but down on the school bus for the first time. As soon as he’s on that bus, he’ll be out of my hands too.
So. No more fear. Just pride and a sense of accomplishment that I’ve done what I set out to do: finished writing a book. Or a story. Or a poem. Or whatever it was that I chose to write. No more mostly-finished works. No more questioning my abilities. I know I can do it, and I know that when I finish my works, they’ll be the best they possibly can be at that time.