Why? Has someone been hurt? A fire? A break-in?
Okay – put in those terms, to say I’m scared is melodramatic. But I certainly feel nervous and unsettled and was awake in the night worrying.
The cause? For the first time in nearly two months I’ve got the time and opportunity to write. My foot is better. I’ve got a break in my travels. I’m motivated. The next chapter is planned. But I’m scared to start.
I know the remedies – I’ve given them to students often enough! Don’t worry about the quality of the writing – just write. Don’t get it right – get it down. You know you’ll have to rewrite anyway. Give yourself permission to write rubbish. A few words is better than no words. Oh yes, the advice is the easy bit.
Perhaps it’s because I’m up to chapter 13. But no, I’m not superstitious so that’s clutching at straws. Perhaps it’s because I had a particularly negative critique on a previous chapter. But no, I’m made of sterner stuff than that. Perhaps it’s because it’s because I don’t believe in the novel myself. Ah, that’s a more serious one, but something I won’t know until I’ve written more of it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve reached 40,000 words – the number that often marks a wall for writers.
Perhaps I’m wasting time searching for reasons when I should just get on and do it. I will. I’m going to start now. But the sun is shining – perhaps I should hang the washing out first …