I don’t know why this year is so devastating for me. I guess because last year I could explain away my failure as a first time entrant. This year I have no excuse, and it’s haunting me.
I’m not sleeping well. If I’m not pass-out tired when I lay down, then I start thinking about everything that’s wrong with my manuscript. I have to take sleeping pills to fall asleep.
When my husband’s alarm goes off at 4 a.m. I usually make a quick run to the bathroom before climbing back into bed for another hour or two, but not today. As soon as my feet poked out from under the covers, my brain kicked in. I couldn’t stop the mistakes and comments from flashing through my head.
I’ve been up for almost four hours. The only time I haven’t thought about my manuscript was when I watched last night’s episodes of House and Castle. I watch them on my computer, though, so as soon as they stopped I sat looking at a computer screen and wishing I could write something.
But what? I’ve spent almost two years on a manuscript, ditching 75% of the original and not even finished with the second attempt yet. Two years and I have an unfinished, flawed mess.
I thought about putting it away and trying something new, but what? How? There’s so much fear and pain that I can’t even remember what to do first. I know that I had other story ideas, but I can’t remember them. I know there are techniques to this, but I can’t tune out the voice that keeps telling me, “You tried it once. It didn’t work then, why should it work now?”
I had two days set aside for working on my manuscript. I was going to challenge myself to write for four hours each day, to at least get the first draft finished, but I can’t even open the file. I have a school board meeting to summarize for the local paper and just opening the word processor starts me crying again. My heart didn’t hurt this much when my husband was diagnosed with cancer – I knew that they could help him, that he’d get better. I don’t have that same assurance for myself.
I really don’t know why this is so hard for me this time. Giving up would crush me, but so would devoting another year of time and energy to keep getting worse. The longer this haunts me, the more start to wish I’d never started down this path.