Afraid

7:00 AM


Hi, I'm Aimee the writer, and I'm terrified of writing at the moment.



Once again, I did (and won) NaNoWriMo. It was fun. A little stressful, but fun. I loved the story, the characters, the rush of sharing sucky NaNo-level writing on Twitter for the whole world to see. I love everything about writing, and I can't imagine doing anything else. That would just be weird and sad and lonely. Because of that, I usually can't wait to keep writing after NaNoWriMo, especially if it involves jumping right into a new story I'm excited about.

I haven't written a word since the last few days of November. Not because I have a legitimate reason, and not for lack of stories to tell. Not because I'm taking a break -- I already did that.

It sounds stupid to type it up now, but I'm scared. Kinda really terrified, guys.

Oh, the accuracy.
Here's the deal: I've had like three months off now, but it's time to return to the source of all my problems and all my writing love, and that source would be my steampunk novel Pariah. I adore this thing. I've spent eight freaking drafts on this thing. I might be rewriting it for the next five decades, but one day it's getting done. Right now it just doesn't feel like that's anytime soon, and I'm not feeling prepared to step up and have 85k of steampunk murder mystery whack me in the face for the ninth time in two years.

It's intimidating. It's scary. I have other stories to edit, or other first drafts I could write. I have Pinterest just waiting for me. It would be way easier to shove Pariah into some little corner of my Google Docs folders, forget about it, and possibly take a much longer break from writing. I'm tired of writing draft after draft after draft and ending up in a puddle of suckiness because nothing is working and the plot won't really ever click.

I'm going to sit down and write it anyway, 'cause I'm crazy like that.

You're probably waiting for the big revelation moment. I don't have it, because I don't have this figured out yet. Who knows, maybe Draft 9 will suck too. Maybe I'll quit halfway through it and abandon the entire plot and make this into a YA contemporary with a side of cancer and teenage angst. Maybe the characters will turn into different people entirely. I never know with this stupid thing. *cuddles the WIP* 

Or, maybe, things will work out this time. Maybe I'll finally find the plot that clicks, and the characters will tell me what the heck they want out of me. That could happen too.

I won't know until I dive into it. I won't know if I give up.

In weaker moments I'd like to pitch this story into the depths of the ocean and never speak of it again, but I still love it in the end. It's the thing that made me love novels and realize that I could do it. It's the thing other people have told me they love, and fangirled over, and cried over (which makes me really proud). It's a thing I've worked hard on.

I guess that's a pretty good reason to keep going.


20 comments

  1. Gah, I get your feel. I have one novel I've rewritten two or three times now, and I just-- don't want to do it again. At. All. I can't even imagine what it would be like for the ninth time. *hands you consolatory chocolate*

    And yesss please keep going and don't throw it in the ocean. (I still want my hard copy I can hug.) You can do this! It's going to be great! :)

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    1. *eats chocolate sadly* Yes, you betas are one of the big reasons why I haven't ditched this yet. xD We can do this!

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  2. That can't be easy, but you can do it! Don't give up.

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  3. I completely understand this feeling. And although it would be easy to toss it aside and forget about it, I know that you can tackle it again. It'll be hard, but having beta-read Pariah, I can say honestly that I loved it. I adored your characters and loved your plot, and I want to own a copy of it someday. You've got this!

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    1. Oh gosh, thanks so much. <3 You betas have been SO encouraging and really made me want to keep going for it, so it's a little easier now to push through the discouraging moments.

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  4. Well, you know, I think the WIPs that really matter are just like your family: you can't get rid of them to matter how hard or long you try. Still, even if it's scary, keep writing! It will be okay. And it will get better. And you will get better, too! That is the way that the writing process works. *nods firmly*

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    1. Trueeee. I think in this case, Pariah would be that one sibling who keeps tugging on your clothes and spilling stuff on your books and jumping on your back, but can be really cuddly sometimes... >.>

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  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk Aimee I love this book. So much. You know that.
    *silent sobbing in the corner*
    Ahem. BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO WAR YOU AND FLAIL OVER SNIPPETS IN THE JOURNEY OF THIS NEXT DRAFT, OKAY? Seriously. Spam me. I'm giving you alllll the permission. (Unless you don't want to. xD)
    But I totally get you since I'm feeling this right now. Writing is just full of insecurity and it's very terrifying and will I ever get this right? I'm with ya. *high five*

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    1. Thank youuuu. <3 <3 You've been the best wth this. xD I will spam you lots and war you lots and WE CAN DO THE THING. *hugs*

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  6. I want this one to grow. Personally, Little Hero sounds more my style, but this is the one you've given flesh and blood and sweat and tears to (more of them than Little Hero at this junction) and I want to see this published. I want to read it. I WANT TO READ THE THING GIVE IT TO MEEEEEE.

    I can say I have never been terrified to write. Sometimes, I'll be sick of writing, but guess what? I just slam open that word doc and start putting in the keystrokes anyway. This is not a sane path but we will reach the end of it.

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    1. Mwhahaha, you shall have the feels of Little Hero one day, too. I plan on finishing alllll the things.

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  7. Aimee, beautiful Aimee. I feel for you so much. I'm doing the same thing with TFQ this winter - starting up Draft 8. After almost 5 years of working on it, I'M READY FOR IT TO BE DONE AND READY OR JUST...STOP. It's so daunting - kind of like time is closing in, reminding you that the hours are ticking by and you haven't made an impact with this story like you've wanted to all your life.

    I hate it.

    But I also love TFQ - the same way that I know you love Pariah. It's your *baby*. You've come so far. You can do it!! You don't have these ideas for nothing. God gave them to you - whether they're for you to publish down the road or just to teach you something very deep and very personal, they are important and worth every effort you have to give them.

    And on the flip side, if you do need to put it down for longer/stop writing it without any particular intention of coming back, remember that Maggie Stiefvater wrote THE RAVEN BOYS when she was 19 and then put it down for ALMOST 10 YEARS before picking it back up again and making it what it was supposed to be.

    So. There's that.

    Stay strong, dearest. <3

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  8. Love this. Thank you for being so real and genuine with your writing struggles. I relate to this so much, and it's good to hear that other people are struggling with their writing as much as I am (and almost always do).


    I hope that you get a spark that reminds you of what you love about Pariah in the first place, and I hope you find moments amidst the suckiness that remind you of why you're a writer. I'm sending you all the hugs and good wishes about this upcoming rewrite of Pariah. I believe in you! You can do this. ♥

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    1. Ugh, the writing struggle is so real. But you guys are being so very encouraging and positive and helpful, so I'm reminding myself that people care and will help me make it through this monster of a thing /again/. :D

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  9. I'm always at least a little afraid of writing--I think everyone is. But getting through that is part of what makes writing special. And your writing is never as bad as you think it is :)

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    1. Thank you! That's something that I need to keep reminding myself.

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  10. Writing can be hard :) And sometimes we do need to take a break and then write and re write drafts over and over. And eventually things will work out :) Good luck!

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    1. Yeah, I'm really glad I took a break, because now I feel like I can come back at it with some energy. Thank you!

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