Maybe I should have titled this series “I’m about to be Writing my Novel.” That might have been more truthful.
But that’s okay, remember? We decided last time that it was necessary for me to outline.
So have I outlined? Kind of. I started to! Really. But then I got stuck on what kind of notebook to use. And that monumental decision has stayed my hand since last we met.
I’ve spent a way more time than I should have just deciding on what notebook to use to write the outline in. I knew I wanted to use a Moleskine notebook, but outside of that, I had that big life-changing decision to make: which size would I use?
Okay, so maybe I was making too big a deal out of it. And that’s my point. I had both sizes of notebooks lying around my house already, so it wasn’t like I had to go to a bookstore to get a new notebook to begin.
No, I had both the Pocket size and the Large size sitting on my desk, waiting to have an outline carefully written inside. So I go with the Pocket size and begin writing, and I’m good. But then, I think to myself, this is the notebook you use for work, too! This will never work!
So I decide on the Large. But then I think, You’ve already started in the Pocket one! You don’t want to have to re-write all that! I couldn’t stand the thought of re-writing the 5 pages I filled in the Pocket size, so I sat for another while staring at the notebooks, procrastinating from doing any real writing or planing.
And then I had it! I’ll Xerox the pages of the Pocket notebook and tape them onto the blank pages of the Large so I can keep my work and novel separate.
So now I sit here, writing about procrastinating about writing to procrastinate about writing. It’s a vicious cycle, I tell you. Vicious.
But now at least I have that totally major decision made and fewer excuses than ever to not begin plotting out the remainder of the novel. This week, I’ve learned there are always excuses to not write: I don’t have the right notebook, I won’t be marketable, I don’t know the ending just yet, it’s finals week and I have to grade, etc etc etc blah blah blah. Excuses, all of them.
I realize I was procrastinating for one reason: I am afraid to fail at this. I have dreamed of being an author for so long that if I do this–put my all into it—and fail, it will devastate me worse than I am honestly ready to deal with.
So you know what I’m going to do?
Not fail. That’s what.