Me, I'm a textbook case of fear of failure and/or success. As I'm nearing the end of the novel (my first, though I've had several attempts at others) I am starting to look for and find excuses not to write. Less than a thousand words written last week, which is woeful any way you slice it. I've simply got to put in the time and effort next week - and stop running away. Face the fear and write it anyway, if you like.
Change of subject. I finished reading Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island on Friday night. I wanted the book experience before the movie experience since as you all know movie versions are often worse and spoil what might have been a terrific read. Anyway, Lehane's Shutter Island (as opposed to Scorcese's) is my favourite read of the year so far, with a series of final twists that left me feeling completely drained. Might explain why I didn't write at all on Saturday. As good as the ending was it left me in a deep dark funk that I'm only climbing out of on Sunday morning. Yes, it's that dark. Still, I cannot recommend this title enough. Amazon UK are currently selling it for £3.59, which is probably the best value for money you'll get for any book ever. Hyperbole aside, it's worth it, and I for one am salivating at the thought of seeing Martin Scorcese's take...
Back on subject. I started this post talking briefly about nearing the end of the novel, so I'll end it by talking briefly about the beginning:
Ella Bradburn was the last of the schoolchildren to step off the bus.
I wrote that, the first line of the first draft on Feb 12, 2007. It's not a great line, not even a good one, but it was good enough to start me on the trip. For anyone who hasn't written a novel and is seriously considering it, I have found it demands either a lot of faith or a lot of stupidity. Since I'm not quite done yet, I still don't know which it is. I figure that is what has been scaring me away from the keys this week, too. That and the fact that I was 11 or 12 years old when I first caught the writing bug and I'm 34 now. It's a long time to wait and work on your dream; a dream that - still - might never come true. There he is: the elephant in the room. Even he's grown tired of waiting. And if he could speak, he'd say something like, it's simple, Steve. You just get on with it. After all, when you've come this far, there's nothing else you can do.
Faith or stupidity?
If only I knew.
5 days ago