Dunno about you, but when I’m afraid of something, I put it off.
Some days, it’s easier to edit than others. Today, I’m finding all kinds of reasons to avoid starting on the editing, so I’m going to give myself one last delay and try to find out why I’m scared of editing today in particular.
Am I afraid of failing? That I won’t be able to finish such a huge, complex chapter today, so I might as well not start?
Am I afraid that I’m going to miss out on all the other things I want to do, if I spend hours and hours editing? It’s not like the things I want to do are all that important. Except for the nap. That’s important.
Part of me feels like I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing in this chapter – that is, changing from what to what. Maybe I’m afraid I’m missing something important, that if I plow ahead without finding it, I’ll be unhappy with this chapter forever.
Part of me feels like I already know this chapter so well that I can’t possibly improve it, it’s perfect…and is afraid of finding out otherwise.
I don’t want to read this chapter again, not really – why not? I couldn’t wait to read the previous chapter, even though it was longer and even more complex than this one. Is there nothing to love about this chapter?
The chapter is about the main character making plans, failing, trying something different, and finally realizing the situation wasn’t what it seemed in the first place – he’s a fool. The angriest character and the worst character show up and wallow in their awful actions. The main character behaves like scum (not that he didn’t in the previous chapters, but he isn’t charming about it, here). In fact, this chapter is the lowest the main character ever gets in the book, ethically – and it brings him nothing. Worse things happen in the rest of the book, but from here on out, he makes progressively better, rather than worse, choices.
I think that’s it. I’m dreading following the main character down into the pit. He doesn’t realize that he’s in a pit, either: it’s all justified. And I’ve dug myself some entirely self-justified pits in my time; I don’t relish reliving the experience, even in part.
Okay. It won’t be pleasant, but I think I can move on now.