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I’ve started writing a new book!

I am so excited to tell Ember’s story of how she finds Nowhere. I love this whole idea! I love the characters. I love the setting. I love the tone. Adventure. Creepiness. So many emotions.

I know where the story is heading. I know the overall theme. So much is all figured out and the stuff that isn’t, well, it will show itself when it’s ready.

So, this…

Right?

Not exactly. More…

Yeah.

BUT WHY?!?!?!?!! Kathy…why?

I’ve been staring at the screen. And yes, blank pages that wait to be filled is frightening. I hate first drafts. But I know what the next scene is…I can see it played out in my head. Yes, translating the movie in my mind to words can be tricky, but not stare at the screen forever tricky.

So what is keeping the words from pouring from my fingertips?

Well, fear.

Fear that I won’t be able to link all the characters, the stories, the feelings. Fear that I won’t be able to tell this glorious idea that has been growing in my head in the right way, the best way…

That I will mess up what I think is a fantastic idea.

That I won’t be able to infuse the tale with the right amount of creepy and humor. That  I won’t be able to pull off the voice I want (because this is middle grade and VOICE IS EVERYTHING!). That I can’t tug this thing free from my mind and slam it on the page and make it real.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty here. I’m scared it will suck.

So I admit it. I embrace it. I am scared.

What do we, as writers, do about that?

We take a breath, relax, and write anyway.

I’ll say it again.

Take a breath.

Relax.

Write. 

Have fun. Create. Don’t let these terrible expectations take away the reason we write, don’t let it steal the joy.

Because fear isn’t going to keep me from telling Ember’s tale. I’m going to pour all the words I can get into my first draft. I’m going to add all I can, get the story out. After I have a draft, I’ll worry about fixing it. I’ll sculpt the pile of words into what it wants to be.

Fear isn’t stronger than me.