For the past few weeks, I’ve been crippled by the dread of actually finalizing my first novel. I’ve spent nearly my whole life writing stories, creating characters, and daydreaming about being a “real” author. But, as I near the finish line, I’m sweating. I can't breathe. I think I'm sick.
It’s finally hitting me: people are going to be reading my novel. Not just my best friends, but people who won’t read it through the rose filter of knowing me. Those people will be judging me. Criticizing me.
I am paralyzed. I want to fast forward to when brittle critiques of my writing won’t give birth to questions of my inherent value. I want to rewind to when I didn’t even know that stories were sliced up and then branded bad or good. When the enjoyment of the story was all that really mattered.
But…but…a little voice is chirping. What about the characters? I can’t leave them frozen in some sort of limbo, half alive and fading. The creation of this world will be incomplete if I don’t persevere. Denise Stone, Haley Fisher, all of them deserve to be fleshed out. To become as real as they are in my imagination. I owe it to them.
I will finish.