get a grip

Don: Writing novels–especially the first drafts of them–is a mindfuck. It's a long, long haul, a marathon, a slog that's interspersed with (very) occasional bursts of inspiration. Mostly, though, it's misery. You're just trying to hang on, just trying to grind it out to the finish, and the entire way, you worry. You worry that you'll get lost, way off-track, and have to start over. You worry that you won't have the stamina and you'll bonk, and everything will fizzle into incoherence. You worry the pages you've amassed are shit. You worry you will have to quit–who were you kidding, you never had the balls for this. You worry that it will never be over. Yet you make yourself push on, desperately clutching to the hope that all this work will lead somewhere."

(Don Lee in The Huffington Post Short Stories series)

I've read sentiments just like this one before, but it is always good to read, again, an accomplished writer talking about how scary it can be to take on a long writing project. Maybe this is why I have canned nearly every novel length story idea I've begun working on. I just freak. Then I go write a short story about something totally random and not planned out at all and I feel better and I think maybe I'll just stick to short stories. This is my get a grip paragraph to save and read when I'm being whimpy.

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