distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Revision Anxiety

Why am I so nervous about completing this book and turning it in to the editor on Monday? They liked the 1st draft, so they'll still like it once all the tinkerings are done (won't they?). But also the first book I wrote for them released to the printer the other week—because I work in the department, I saw the bluelines go through, and there was a veiled moment of excitement, held in for no one to see, because my name isn't on the book and everyone else seems well used to this kind of thing. Anti-climactic I guess is that even when it is published, no one will be able to tell it's by me.

And now this one, really no reason to get nervous, except:

  1. People have said that they liked book 5 and they can't wait to read my next one, which is this one, book 7. And what if it doesn't live up to what they think it will be?
  2. Yes, the old standby, what if the revision just isn't good enough?
  3. And what if I don't ever get another assignment like this?
  4. Or what if I do, and I have to spend another two months fitting it into whatever spare moment I have, and unable to work on my own writing because I have a deadlne to attend to?
  5. And E sometimes tells me I can make things worse by stressing over nothing because I like to stress, or am just used to being stressed—clearly I am doing this here—playing the What If game in my head.

None of this matters. It's Friday morning—three days to deadline, and many many pages await. I'm up early. I have to work on chapter 10 (out of 14). So, yes, I have to calm down. When this is over I can go back to being myself again. I'll have a writers group meeting with my writing friend to talk about stories, one of hers, one of mine, and it'll be like old times.

I really, really do not like to stress. Honest.


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