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  • Kate Forest

Writer’s Panic

Having just completed a rough draft of my work in progress (WIP) I allow myself a small celebration. This shitty first draft signifies that I can finish a book. A sucky awful book, but a completed sucky awful book.

This is not champagne popping worthy. I’ve finished 6 books previously, but that fact doesn’t penetrate my irrational thought process. Every time I start a new book, I am convinced that I am incapable of writing one. I say to myself, “What makes you think you can write an entire book? Those things are long and complicated. And your idea is so puny. You’ll never fill enough pages.”

Thanks self, way to be a cheerleader.

I fortify myself with dark chocolate, white cheddar popcorn, and enough diet soda to burn a hole in my gut. I go to a hotel and lock myself inside, only to emerge to skulk to Panera to get a salad (to counteract the chocolate and popcorn, but I still get another diet soda). In 24 hours I force myself to write enough words to convince that cheerless cheerleader that she needs to shove her pompoms in her big fat negativity spew hole.

And then all is ok again. Even with only a tenth of the shitty first draft written, I feel at ease. I can see where my characters are going, and I’m confident I’ll tag along after them until we reach that happy ever after.

The only problem is that when I approach that happy ever after, some new crop of characters has started to yammer at me to tell their story.

We’re in for another visit from that cheerless cheerleader.

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