I should have known this would happen. In fact, it’s been happening for the past two weeks. The incessant pinning, the random web surfing, the gorging on reality television and cookie dough ice cream, all instead of FINISHING THIS SERIES! I’m normally not a procrastinator. Being a crazed worrier usually keeps me from putting things off for fear of all of the disastrous “what ifs” that could tragically occur in the meantime but this next project on my to-do list is a totally different animal. It’s the fourth book in my YA series. FOUR. I’ve written THREE other novels in the past year, all of which are in various stages of completion. THREE. That’s a lot. A lot of words and a lot of hours and a lot of heartache and a lot of doubt. I’m exhausted. But there’s still one more to go.
Which is why I’m watching The Real Housewives and eating Chick-fil-a and pinning wedding cakes. Because my brain is just not ready to go there yet. But can you really blame me? By the end of this journey I’ll have written almost 400,000 words and there is absolutely no guarantee that it’ll all be worth it. For the past year my book sales haven’t been stellar and while I never allowed myself to obsess over the fact or even fully acknowledge it as some kind of failure, my expectations for this next project are different. I loved writing each one of my first three novels. I loved the freedom of writing for me and the freedom of self-publishing. But this time around the stakes are higher and so are my hopes. Because this could be it. Really, this could be it.
If I could just type that first word…if I could just type anything at all. If I wasn’t so terrified maybe I’d type that first word today. But since I am terrified, of failing and actually feeling it this time, I won’t. I won’t force it, not today. And not because I think procrastinating is healthy or that that voice in my head is actually right, but because I don’t want the first word in the final book of my very first series to be conjured out of fear. Or at least not just fear. I want that last first word to be conjured out of hope and conviction and pride and love and okay, maybe a little fear too. But most of all I want it to be good. And today I can’t do good. Today all I can do is this.