The problem I have with writing at the moment, the issue I have hanging over me every day – every single time I put pen to paper – is that it’s years now since I finished anything.
True, since I last finished anything longer than a short story, I have changed jobs, met someone, married said someone, moved house, done up said house and had a baby, so the last few years have been eventful ones. But still it is a constant frustration, a constant worry, that the dedication and commitment I had to write two novels seems to have spent most of the last decade seemingly sunning itself in The Bahamas, miles out of my grasp.
Right now though, I feel more in touch with my writing than I have in a long time. I’m working daily. My mind feels focused, my resolve unbreakable. So, of course I can use the fact that I haven’t finished anything as fuel. As I work on this new book, I can tell myself I don’t want to fall into that enticing rut of nothingness again, that I don’t want this to be yet another piece of work – hard hours of thinking and working – that I just gave up on.
As the fear is always there. The fear that when I hit a difficult plot problem, or a flat chapter I can’t seem to immediately pump up, that it will just seem easier to give it up.
Not that I’d phrase it to myself like that, of course.
I have ideas popping and fizzing in my mind all the time, so I’ll just tell myself that I’ll write one of those instead and come back to this book later when I’m refreshed.
Then eventually I’ll hit a difficult point on that idea, and move onto something else and the cycle will just repeat and nothing will ever get finished.
That fear hangs over me, but I have to break the pattern. This time I am going to finish what I started and I’m going to make sure I’m goddamn proud of it!