He Who Hesitates

cold feetI think I figured out my problem … well, one of them.

It has been four months since I touched my novel manuscript. It is the only novel that I completed. I’m actually in the third draft, after having received input from friends and acquaintances who read the second draft. (Or maybe it’s the fourth draft after having people read the third draft?) In any case, I got that far, and stopped.

I’ve pined in my mind about not having enough time to work on it and assumed that was the problem. It was nothing but an issue of time. After all, a lot has been going on these past months.

But today I opened my “fiction books” folder in my computer, looked at the title of the document, and cringed inwardly. I got what I can only describe as cold feet.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid of doing my very best with the book, putting my heart and soul and best grammar and most awesome similes into it … and getting rejected. I’m afraid of getting a stock letter back from an agent or publisher, saying it’s not what they’re looking for. I’m afraid of publishing it and not a single person showing an interest in it. I’m afraid of selling only two copies.

My mom often says, “Well begun is half done.” I know I’m over halfway there.

It is also said that, “He who hesitates is lost.” And I think if I keep on hesitating, I’m going to lose something. Maybe an opportunity. Or maybe just that sense of courage and tenacity that pushes through whether I get a rejection … or fifty of them.

Now that I’ve realized what’s stopping me, at least in part, I don’t want to hesitate any more. Even if none of my books are ever best-sellers, that’s not the be-all and end-all of writing. I need to finish what I’ve started and get it out there, for whatever it’s worth.

Whether the story is worth it to one person or ten thousand, it should be enough for me. 

Because I’ve been called to write. It’s what I love to do. And writing, just like life, is not solely about the destination … but the journey.


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