This is just a quick post to wish everyone a happy World Book Day and to ask what everyone is reading at the moment? Given I threw down a read-off to Scarlett, I'm going to be devouring more books than ever before! :p You can keep an eye on her progress here and mine here, but let me know if you keep track of *your* reads! Happy reading!
No, I'm not talking about the Lily Allen song (which is about cocaine, apparently), I'm talking about The Fear. My Fear. An irrational, stupid Fear I have when it comes to my writing.
You may have noticed that of late, I've not been talking about the Pipe Dream that much, using the excuse of the Profession ... or the weather ... or Tetris. I don't think it's actually procrastination - it's The Fear. I've mentioned before how I'm always working on my drafts - how they are never good enough - and this is The Fear.
The Fear I will never be good enough.
Even when (if) I'm lucky enough to be published, I don't think I will ever be satisfied. I have joked quite a few times that I will be found in bookstores with my blue Bic revising my published books - if I just tweak this and change that ... then it will be *so* much better. There are friends - on here and offline - who tell me to leave my books alone, that they are fine as there are. Still, I can't help fiddling. In my defence, some edits have improved the books, but some are unnecessary. Like now, with TROG. I should just parcel it up and post it, yet The Fear is goading me to keep tweaking to the point I just want to scrap it all.
I can't help but think I'll never be good enough. Even if I achieve publication, I worry I won't be good enough. Sure, I *might* get good sales and reviews, but I was always told to be the best I can possibly be. Mediocrity scares me.
I know it is fantastic to be published - that that in itself is a bloody marvellous achievement - but I do worry it won't be enough; that unless I have top acclaim, it won't be enough for me and the people around me.
I am an over-achiever, I admit that. Perhaps I have an unrealistic unobtainable standard, but I have always felt I have to strive to be the best. I don't mean this in a conceited way - I don't mean to devalue or make light of what I have achieved so far with my writing - but my standard is high. Maybe impossibly high. Because of this I worry that even if I achieve my Pipe Dream, I will somehow fail these expectations.
This is my Fear.
I hope you understand this, and I hope you don't judge me too harshly for my flawed thinking. I know it's irrational and I know I have to learn to draw the line because my writing is at stake here (OK, that was a wee bit melodramatic!), but I do have to learn that I am not compromising myself (and my writing) if my mythical "perfection" is not achieved. I need to learn to be happy with what I've achieved so far. I mean, I *should* be happy with what I've achieved so far! I need to, and I will, overcome The Fear, but sometimes it's hard to ignore this irrationality, especially with my writing as it means so much to me.
I hope you all understand and a few of you confide that I'm not alone here - that you too live with Fear. If so, what is it?