So I've spent far too much time this week trying to motivate myself to return to my fledgling novel. The poor thing has been badly neglected and I'd totally understand if it refused to speak to me ever again. But something has stopped me from opening the file and getting on with writing it.
It's not that I've been unable to write anything. I've managed a few poems and some notes and observations in my notebook. So it's not the dreaded writers block that has stopped me.
The issue has been one of confidence again. I was scared to open the file in case what I saw there was rubbish, in case it was bad writing, in case I had written a load of crap with no merit. So I backed away from it, ran away from it and pretended I was going to get round to it tomorrow. Ah, tomorrow, my favourite word. 'I'll do it tomorrow' is a phrase I could have engraved on my tombstone, I'm the Queen of Procrastinators!
But yesterday I decided to grasp the nettle. I dug out my plan and opened the file. All I intended to do was read the last paragraph I'd written and see where I'd got to before attempting a few more paragraphs. At least then I could say I'd done some work on the novel and not put it off until tomorrow.
Guess what? I started to read the first few sections and some of it was good! I mean, it was actually good! Maybe not Booker prize winning good but I was impressed with what I'd written. Sure, there were bits that I know need some work - OK, lots of work - but some of it was good. Wind was officially taken out of my sails and I closed the file with a smile on my face. OK, I didn't write anything to add to it but that will change today. For now it is enough to know that I wrote something that I'm proud of, that I can do it and will do it. This novel is very embryonic but with some commitment and hard work it will become a first draft.
Then I'll start to panic about editing and my lovely, supportive writing friends will kick me into shape again!