Rule #3: An unwritten manuscript gathers no rejection slips… but it sure as hell won’t get published either.

To write, or not to write...

I’ll level with you, I am irrationally afraid of failure.  And I suspect I’m not the only one. 

In Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, he states, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”  And oh man, I can relate.  'Cuz I am a top-notch, arrogant, cocky, type-A, scaredy cat.

Three years ago, as a hypnotic blur of snow zipped past my windshield on a holiday commute home to the Maritimes, a simple idea sprang unbidden to my mind.  Fourteen hours and 3 tanks of gas later that idea had evolved into a full on, adrenalin-pumping plotline.  I was psyched! 

Fast-forward two more holiday trips back home and I still hadn’t once put pen to paper. 

It wasn’t as if I’d forgotten about the idea, I had eaten, slept and breathed this story non-stop in those two intervening years.  But I could not bring myself to sit and actually commit to the words because I had this nagging fear that, no matter what I wrote, it couldn’t possibly live up to the utter magnificence this idea had acquired in my mind.  

My opinionated-nature knows no bounds (just ask my husband) and I am a horrifically critical reader.  I recently read a certain unimaginably-popular trilogy and let me tell you, my “inner goddess” was not doing back flips while I read it… she was seething in fifty shades of jealousy because this author had laid herself on the line, gotten off her ass, tried her hand at writing, and succeeded.  And hats off to her, because in the end it doesn’t matter whether or not those particular books are my cup of tea; that author still kicked my ass to kingdom-come because she did what the vast majority of people with a great story idea never bother to actually do: she wrote the book.

So after two years of heinous procrastination, my New Years resolution for 2011 was to start.  I knew I’d be my own worst critic, but that didn’t have to be a bad thing.  Something had occurred to me: if what I wrote didn’t exactly live up to my expectations, I could just keep editing it until it was saturated with sheer unadulterated awesome!

It seems the trick isn’t just to start… it’s also to keep going.  For to get-off-your-ass-and-write is super-human, but to revise is divine! 

You Can't Fail if You Don't Give Up

[NOTE: image taken from]



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three Responses to "Rule #3: An unwritten manuscript gathers no rejection slips… but it sure as hell won’t get published either."

  1. Yvette
    Yvette on 23-12-’12 10:02

    So well put! We all have a fear of failure that often causes us to fail in its own right. Kutos to you for forging on. I can’t wait till the published book is taunting the inner voice that tried to stop you. :)

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    Burberry Bags on 03-04-’13 00:55

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