Sheer Terror

Photo credit: _parrish_ via Visualhunt /  CC BY-NC

Photo credit: _parrish_ via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

Some nights I wake up screaming.

The nightmare has come again to taunt me. Who in the world do I think I am? Declaring myself to be a writer. Declaring that I am going to be a published author. Presuming that I am good. What if I fail? Sheer terror consumes me.

What if I fail?

The thought is inconceivable. I have too much riding on this endeavor. Too many people to prove wrong. Too much to prove to myself. “I can’t fail” whispers the clam and measured voice. There is a plan and I am working the plan. Every day. The story has become a part of every atom within me. I feel anxious if a day passes and I am not able to press fingers to the keyboard to move the story to the page.

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. — Oscar Wilde

Now I am an optimist it seems. There is no way I can fail in my goal. The story is being written. I will revise and edit and rewrite to ensure that it is good. It will be published and I will write another and another.

Last week I only managed to add 2,500 words to my slowly increasing total. It doesn’t feel like nearly enough, but it is more than I had last week. Review the plan. Work the plan.

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

8 thoughts on “Sheer Terror

  1. Good luck; keep on keeping on! I am very relaxed about my present book project about Blake and Buddhism. I have decided it’s more important taking time to absorb all my reading (it is non-fiction so may be different to fiction) and spread out my actual writing over 12mths. I am not concerened with a word count at this stage!


    • Thank you for the words of encouragement. I wish I could do relaxed. I think they forgot to include that in my DNA. 🙂 I have a pile of ideas in my head all demanding to see the light of day. They only way they are getting out is for me to finish the one I am working on… Yesterday, if not sooner. Your project sounds very interesting. I would love to learn more.


  2. Laughing… you make me nervous with your focus on numbers. Yes, we need to get the word count down, but I truly feel that you drive yourself insane by focusing on the number and being calm and focusing on the creatively and being really happy with what you write. Last week, I think it was, you said you sat down and wrote 3,000 NO PROBLEM. So… THINK about why it was so easy that day?? And make that feeling happen again. KEEP at it! We are ALL in the same boat. Racing against time, right. Today is Feb. 1st! New month, new goals to accomplish.


    • LOL The funny thing is that numbers comfort me. One of my big word count days was a result of having all the research out of the way and I could focus on that part of the story without having to do much fact checking. Your words help me think about my process. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  3. I’m sure many/most first time writers feel the same as you. It is rather a terrifying thought, and the aim of getting things perfect can be daunting, to say the least. It is a question of keeping going with your first draft as erikleo said, above. Get your story told. If your word count is too high once you’ve finished, you can look at your story as a whole and decide if any parts are just baggage you can do without. It all takes time, but few really good books were written and published in a mere few weeks. Best of luck on your journey.


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