I was up late editing A Cup of Dust (it’s my new novel, scheduled for release in Fall, 2015 with Kregel Publications). The manuscript is due to the editor on Saturday.
I’ve got plenty of time. Why was I up late?
Because at 9:15 I got scared.
Not stressed or anxious or slap-happy-tired.
I. Was. Afraid.
There was this four line exchange that I found needed a slight change that would necessitate a change in a previous chapter. Nothing big. But I was scared that I was getting it all wrong. That I moved the tension in the wrong way. That I wasn’t being true to my characters.
So, I did what all good writers do. I started drinking.
Coffee. I got a cup of coffee. What did you think I meant?
While my poor hubby snoozed on the couch, I tweaked and tinkered with what I needed to fix.
The fear didn’t stop.
Neither did my fingers.
I jotted notes to myself of things that need to be fixed and prayed like crazy for a little help. I stretched out (sitting all day is a killer) and searched the cupboards for chocolate. I found none. Then I went back and edited a little more until I was out of functioning brain matter.
Facebook is as good a brain numbing device as I’ve got, so I scanned through my feed.
If you were a 70’s song…
Kelly Clarkson’s tattoo!
Jimmy Fallon! Jimmy Fallon! JIMMY FALLON! (seriously, the dude is ALWAYS all over my newsfeed).
Then I got to a status from John Blase. John is a poet and you ought to know-it. He blogs over at The Beautiful Due and is always good for a deep thought or a book recommendation.
John’s status was this: “The fabulous Mary Karr* shared this question on Twitter the other day:
What would you write if you weren’t afraid?”
My thought when I read that status?
I’m pretty ding-dong scared RIGHT NOW….
My answer to Mary and John’s question is this: A Cup of Dust is what I’d write if I wasn’t afraid. And, even though I am terrified in this very moment, I’m still going to finish these edits and turn it in on time and wait to hear from the editor (which is an altogether different brand of fear).
What would YOU write if you weren’t afraid? Are you still brave enough (or, in my case, arrogant enough) to write it anyway?
*Mary Karr is an uber famous, well respected, no nonsense poet, memoirist, and essayist.