Philosophical Monday: New Project Fear

Ugh! I’ve officially not written for five whole days. If you’re not familiar with my much self-described writing practice, I start spiraling into a really unattractive version of myself if I go more than 72 hours without writing. I get bleak, I get depressed, I ask questions like “Why does anyone write anything? Seriously, who cares about anything that anyone else has to say?”

Usually my husband intervenes after three days and gently reminds me that it’s so much nicer to live with a halfway decent human being than you know … a neurotic gremlin, “So please, baby, write, even it’s only for a little while.” But I’ve been visiting my family in St. Louis, so the usual three-day intervention didn’t happen. And now…

Well, let’s just say that I really need to write, but I can already feel my willpower flagging. I think about all of the email I still have waiting in my inbox, all the deadlines I’ve missed for other smaller things. There are so many ways to avoid this new project, that I can already see that drastic measures are in order. So I’m just going to put this out there:

My next project is a draft of the 32 CANDLES screenplay.

Why am I writing the 32 CANDLES screenplay when I’m no longer in the business of screenwriting?

I’ve no idea.

Actually I do know. I hate “writing into nothing,” having no idea if anyone will ever appreciate or cosign something I’m currently writing. Also, failing yet again at screenwriting scares the bejeezus out of me. So I’ve got to do it.

If no one picks up the script, ah well, I’ve failed again, but at least I know that I wrote it, that I didn’t let the fear win, that I didn’t get too comfortable. As I get older my artistic battles have become less and less about selling, and more and more about fear, to the point that it now seems that I’m exclusively battling fear. That’s a hassle for sure. It would be nice to pick projects for normal reasons. I long to be that person who decides to write something purely because it will sell. Instead I search out my old enemy fear, and whatever he’s hiding behind his back — well, that’s my next project.

This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I stay neurotic, which makes it hard to start new projects. On the other hand, my writing life stays exciting, which makes it easier to finish them. Having to constantly sword-swing on fear keeps my ego occupied while the rest of my brain does the work.

So, yes, , do ask me how the 32 CANDLES screenplay is coming. And if I hedge, don’t let me wiggle out of answering. I’m SO scared about this latest project, but  … I’ve just got to do it anyway.

Have you ever encountered a project that scared you to death but taken it on anyway?  If so, sound off in the comments and let me know how it went. I could use the inspiration.

featured image credit: Maschinenraum