“Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.”   Frederick Smith

Just finish it already.  Really.  It’s fine.  It’s a first draft.  It doesn’t matter how badly it sucks.  Nobody else ever has to see it.  Just finish it already.  Finish it and set it aside.

Let it simmer while you move on to something else.  You can come back to it later, and then you can start the process of re-writing it, editing, shaping, fleshing out and improving.

It does not need to be perfect.  It just needs to be finished.

Stop feeding the monster in the closet and listening to the whispers in the dark.

Let go of the fear.

Finish it.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”   Sven Goran Eriksson

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”   William Shedd

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.”   Mary Manin Morrissey

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”   Dale Carnegie

So just finish it already.



50 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Overcome the Fear of Failure

Overcome the Fear of Success: 6 Ways to Start Thriving

New Beginning

I have been working on this novel with the philosophy of “Don’t Go Back”.  Really, I just mean, make notes for the second draft rather than going back and editing stuff that’s already been written in the first draft as I go along.  The goal is to get all the way through the rough draft at least once before I go back and start editing things.  It is *so* hard for me to do!  (Particularly since things that have evolved as the story has progressed make some of the stuff that is already written ALL WRONG.)

Thing is, I can get so caught up in the write, go back and edit, write a little more, go back and edit … that I wind up re-writing the first few chapters way more times than necessary … and get burned out on the story before I ever commit the whole thing to the page.  SO … Don’t Go Back.

However, I have decided that I need to change where the book begins.  I am not changing, editing, or deleting anything that has already been written, I just think that there needs to be another chapter before the one that is presently the beginning.  So, the question is, if I write that chapter now, does that count as going back?  I decided that I need the chapter as I was working out the contents of the next chapter I am due to work on according to my outline.  Instead of that chapter, I started composing this groundwork chapter in my head, and realized that it should really be the beginning of the book.

I am going to go ahead and write it going on the second premise I’ve been using which is basically, “Write Something.”  There have been a few times when I just simply haven’t been in the right head space to write the thing that is supposed to be coming next.  There have also been a few times when I have just had these … vignettes … pop into my head that had no actual place in the story but were things that I couldn’t shake loose.  Hence, 7200 words of back-story with no specific place in the manuscript (yet).  It has worked out alright so far, and several of those vignettes have later found their place in the actual flow of the story. 

It isn’t really going back because I am producing something new, right?  Not editing or reworking or getting side-tracked …

I hope.  Also, I feel like I *need* to write this.  It has it’s emotional source in the terrible nightmare that woke me up this weekend.  Clearly my muse has something She wants me to say.

Dead Characters … puzzles, love and loss


I have had a couple of conversations today about the books progress.  (Possible spoilers ahead, though I don’t really think so.)

It is actually getting to kind of a fun place because puzzle pieces are starting to snap into place. 

The outline helped tremendously.

Maybe that means I should outline sooner … except that isn’t how my head works.  I don’t start with a solid plan.  I start with a seed, but I never actually know what type of plant that seed will grow into.  Usually I *think* I know what kind of plant it will be, but it has happened that I wound up with tomatoes when I thought I was planting cantaloup.  Usually it is more like I wind up with Roma when I thought I was getting beef-steak, but, whatever.

Okay, enough of *that* metaphor!  *laugh*

I am deep enough into the story now that I am starting to see a deeper pattern.  The other day I had an internal monologue that went something like this:  “How did he get past her defenses?  Something had to have happened to turn him into that person for her. 

Oh!  That is totally how Ivan shows up.  If he were in trouble and …”  Ivan was just an ancillary character up until that moment.  He started as a vehicle for a snap-shot scene that I wanted to write to show a facet of Jill.  Now, suddenly, his presence makes a whole lot more sense.  I know who he is, and he is a whole lot more important than I realized when I first plopped him into the story. 

I love those moments.  It really is a bit like solving one side of a Rubik’s cube though.  It might be one step in solving the whole thing, or I might wind up having to completely scramble it again in order to get the rest of the pieces aligned properly for the final solution.  We’ll see. 

I am really mad at myself right now though, because I have realized that Jack is like that too.  The working title is Jack and Jill, but really Jack was just the launching pad for Jill’s story.  He was dead before the book began.   Thing is, their relationship is integral to who she is during the course of the book.  I have realized that it is really necessary to get to know him, and more importantly *them* for the aftermath to make any sense at all. 

So now I am in the position of fleshing out, and as a result falling in love with, a character who is ALREADY DEAD!  Why did I do that?  I don’t want him to be dead.  I want to hang out with him.  It is like I set myself up from the very beginning to be tortured.  I certainly wasn’t thinking that at the time, but how could I have not realized that I’d have to go there? 

I guess somewhere deep down I really am more than a bit of a masochist. 

It will be alright though, because I can wallow in all of the yummy goodness of Jack and Jill while it is time.  His loss?  Well, I know all of the yummy goodness that will come after that too, so it can’t be all that bad, right? 

*rolling my eyes*  Right.


I’m That Kind of Girl

Cause I want to be able to find and read it again later. 🙂

Stories that Must Not Die

I’m the kind of girl who will give you a handshake when you go in for a hug and give you a hug when you reach out for a handshake.  

It doesn’t stop there.  

I’m the kind of girl who will somehow miss your hand when going for the handshake and accidentally stare at your groin, not because I’m penile obsessed but only because I’m not supposed to stare at your groin.  You’ll catch me.  

When I hug you, it’s a side-hug so that my boobs don’t touch you or so that I don’t accidentally kiss you when going in for a hug.  Why would I fear an accidental kiss?  Because don’t underestimate that it would happen to me.  Right on the lips.  Maybe I’d have an epileptic seizure and accidentally tongue kiss you, too.  I’ve never had one, but there’s always the possibility.

Bridget Jones was…

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Seriously?! Again? Lost and Found Words


So, I just spent about 3 hours being SERIOUSLY bummed.  (Spoiler alert – everything has turned out Fine.  Big happy sigh of relief.)

I started my Sunday off by turning on my Jack & Jill Pandora station and then proceeding to play Threes for like 3 hours straight.  (Mr. Aveline is an evil evil man for handing the compulsive woman in his life a game that could easily eat my brain and my days.)  Thing is, during those three hours I was also quite happily constructing back-story to explain some key elements of Jill’s relationship with Jack.  When I finally had to get up to pee and realized that  yes, I had actually wasted three whole hours on a mindless game I stopped.  Instead I went downstairs, said hello to my living-room full of people, took my laptop back into my cave my bedroom where I huddled and started typing out the scenario I had been playing in my head all morning.

Cut to 6 PM.  Laptop battery got low and the computer spontaneously shut itself off with NO warning.  Minor heart-attack.  Go downstairs, grab a bite to eat, acknowledge the existence of my family for a few minutes (really, only a few – most of my brain was busy freaking out about whether I’d lost a whole days work or not).  Took the charger cord upstairs, rebooted, held my breath and opened the file.  Phew!  Everything was there all the way down to the last comma I’d typed before the screen went black.  Thank goodness for the frequent auto-save feature in Scrivener!

Resume typing, unreservedly recording the details of a whole segment of time that takes place five years previous to the beginning of my manuscript.  The Chapter heading for my days work is “Jack Flashbacks with no place yet”.  Mr. Aveline eventually comes up to bed, but I am not *quite* done with the thoughts in my head.  I unplug and continue typing as Mr. Aveline settles down beside me to sleep.  I was yawning and just wrapping up the end of the scene at 11:55 PM when once again my battery gave out and my laptop suddenly and with no warning went dead in my hands.  Shit!  Oh well, it is late, I am tired, and I was basically done anyhow.  I will not disturb Mr. Aveline to alleviate my anxiety, but instead put down the dead computer and go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that it was *totally* fine the first time it happened and so would likely be fine this time also.  Worst case scenario I maybe lose the last hour or so of work I put in to the 7,270 word count day I just put in.

So, 7 am, kids are up and preparing for school and I collect my laptop.  I Bring it downstairs and plug it in, boot it up and fire up Scrivener.  There is the file “Jack Flashbacks”.  Click on it and it comes up onto the screen and Is Totally Blank.  Not one single word there.  7,270 words – gone … disappeared … MIA.  Frantically searching for restore options, back-up copies, anything … sweating and desperate … and … *nothing*  My entire Sunday, gone with one low battery shut-down.  What about that life-saving Scrivener auto-save feature?  What about the stuff that was most definitely still there after the *first* shut down and restart?!  ALL OF IT?  SERIOUSLY?!  AGAIN?

This happened to me once before, and after a month and a half it somehow mysteriously restored when I duped a folder.  I tried that trick this morning.  Nadda.  Nothing.  *Banging head against the wall and trying really hard not to throw anything, break anything, scream or cry in frustration.* 

I started the rationalization thing … It’s okay, it wasn’t even technically part of the manuscript, just back story for me to cherry pick later.  At least now I have the foundations pretty solid in my head, if not on paper.  Yeah, but 7,270 words!  The whole manuscript is only about 28,000 words without the unplaced flashbacks, 35,000 with … that is a significant chunk of what I’ve produced!  Gone … but I am not crying.

No, really, I am not.  Because first thing I did when I got to work?  Open up my manuscript.  See, thing is, I store the files in my drop-box so that I always have the working copy available regardless of what computer I am on.  Turns out, the backed up copy had been updated in drop-box but my lap-top hadn’t synced yet this morning (or something … I am not really sure how that worked out).  Point is, yes, they disappeared and I freaked out pretty hard-core for a few hours, but then, like magic, they are back. 

Yes, I made a completely separate back-up project folder with today’s date appended to ensure that they do not disappear again.  I am thinking that from now on I will copy the working copy to the desktop and then move it back into drop-box once I have finished for the day.  Except, I’m not sure if that would have saved me the freak out this morning, or only meant that there would not have been a current version to restore from.  *shaking my head*  In any case … what a way to start a Monday Morning!

Yes, I know … back up early and often.  *Wry grin*

Jack and Jill Outline Done

I have been … slacking.  It’s been a strange year in my brain.

Tonight, however, I FINISHED the outline for the novel I have been less-than-diligently working on for the last many months.  I have first drafts of about half of the chapters complete, have made some semi-detailed revision notes along the way.  As of tonight I also have detailed draft notes for the still to be written chapters and some pretty good character notes. 

It isn’t much, but I am feeling pretty durned good about it at the moment. 

Feels like I’ve worked up a head of steam and am making some serious progress again.

We’ll see how that goes in the weeks ahead.

Found Words.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

In Sept. I mentioned that I had lost somewhere around 2500 words from my manuscript.  I have tried several times since then to re-write that particular scene – the one that went missing. I just couldn’t get it to work, and with every successive attempt I got more discouraged and frustrated.  I had so little success, in fact, that this last weekend I actually decided that I would simply have to scrap the central idea behind that scene and do something entirely different.

I fired up Scrivener, installed a program update, and copied the last chapter folder I had worked on for the quick formatting.  When I renamed the folder and opened it up to delete the duplicated text – it wasn’t duplicated text at all, but somehow, my missing scene!

I don’t know.

I went back to the folder I had copied and read the text there.  It ended right before the missing scene.  I went back to the “new” folder and opened it up.  It didn’t have any of the text from the original folder, but instead had a document containing the previously missing scene.  I hastily copied and pasted it, then backed everything up!  Once that was finished, I read through the whole scene.  It is just like I remembered it, and the element that I have struggling with for the last month and a half works just fine.  I don’t know why I had so much trouble re-creating it!

I did flesh it out a bit, add to the end of it … and all of the discouragement and frustration that had been building up melted away.  Suddenly I am enthusiastic again about this couple, and happy to be immersed in their story instead of wanting to scream at the characters for tormenting me.