The “never finish, never lose” trap

Finishing is as scary as freefall.  Is the parachute going to open?  Do you in fact have a parachute?  Are you jumping from a plane?  If not, where the hell are you and how are you reading this?  But I digress.  I am this close to sending out my manuscript.  The blocks are getting more and more ridiculous, the excuses lamer and weaker than wet tissue paper.  It comes down to this- if I never finish it, I never get hurt.  I continue to be this hero writer in the ongoing writing battle.  If I finish, I am out in the open, a target for rejection, failure, and loss.

I know the advice- send it out (like ripping off a bandaid, as quickly as possible) and then start a new project immediately.  This isn’t my first novel.  It’s not even my second. I’ve queried many  publishers and agents.  I’ve published a few short stories after hundreds of rejections.   I should be used to rejection by now. If I finish, I can throw myself into the careless free-for-all that is NaNoWriMo.  I can hone some of my short story ideas or gather up all my unfinished projects.  I can plan ideas for my blog or go on to my next rewriting project, a children’s book I wrote.  If I just get these last chapters honed and finished.  I can coax myself that being rejected isn’t the end of the world, and I’ll send it on to the next place when it comes back.  If I never get a novel published, I’m still a good person, I can still call myself a writer, just as someone who paints but never sells her work can be called a painter.  I don’t have to be published to prove anything to anyone, especially not myself.  Right?  Right?

I’m sure a trained therapist would have a field day with me, if I ever got brave enough to meet with one.  I’ve got to shake the anxiety loose and throw it out the window.  Either it’s good enough, or it isn’t.  Either way, it’s going to be finished, printed out, put in an envelope with a nice cover letter, and mailed.  Then, on to something new.

2 Replies to “Finishing”

  1. If for no other reason, finish it so you can send it in to the Harper Collins spec fic imprint that will be accepting unagented book submissions for the first two weeks in October. Sure, it might be another rejection letter to add to your pile. (I just got another one two weeks ago myself.) But maybe it won’t. And even if it’s not perfect, finish it anyway. That’s what editors are for. *hugs*

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