Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Fear of finishing

I’ve got another bunch of revisions from my current client, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the gentleman is a victim to something we (meaning, we that write regularly, to a market, for a living) should know quite well: it’s the fear of finishing.
I’ve seen people crash and burn because of that.

I do not know what the psychological mechanism actually is, but there is this increasing sense of anxiety bordering on panic that sometimes settles in when you approach the end of a story you are writing. You suddenly feel the need to re-read, revise, re-write, start it all over. What up to yesterday was quite fine, now is not that good anymore.
Because you are so close to sending it off to the editor, or to the publisher, or to the Amazon KDP oompa-loompas, and you can’t do that unless this is absolutely perfect and right now quite clearly it is not.

I believe that becoming a professional writer means also being able to overcome this fear, being able to say “his is enough, this is as good as it will ever be, let’s put it out there and see if it can cope.”

Considering my client is availing himself of the services of a ghostwriter, he should trust me enough to live through this last phase easily.
But this whole project has been based on a hard core of mistrust in my abilities, and as a consequence, right now, my client is panicking, and there is nothing I can do but let him exhaust himself.
I could try and explain it to him again, but he would not listen anyway.

On to writing my own stories to fill the vacuum while I wait.


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Useful lessons, and where to find them

Yesterday I posted an article for my Patrons, in which I tangentially compared this writing business to being an adventurer.
And I know, it’s a romantic notion, it’s me telling stories about myself to paint a veneer of glamour over the tight budget and the overdue bills, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it: writing for a living is like setting off on a long journey to find the ancient ruins of the Lost City, or crossing an ocean on a sailing ship.

Having recently discovered the works of Alastair Humphreys, I’ve been reading Ten Lessons from the Road, a motivational handbook based on Humphreys experiences during his four years travelling around the world on a bicycle.

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