Writing. It’s something almost anyone can do, but almost nobody can do well. Most people fall somewhere in between, with moments of inspired greatness in a sea of adequacy.
And so, for some, it becomes an obsession, for others an afterthought. For me, it comes as naturally as breathing but as painfully as a root canal. I write for a living, so putting words on the screen is not such a big deal… unless it’s a project like this one, where I feel that people of tremendous skill and talent are counting on me to bring my A-game. That’s intimidating. If you take a look around the FanLib contest history, you’ll see that Kirk vs. Picard was only the beginning. This is a group that literally hangs out on the winner pages, again and again, both as reviewers and as writers.
Now, sure, I’m one among their ranks, and I’ve been a finalist my fair share of times too. But even so, knowing that someone is relying on you to do well is somehow a riskier proposition than just attempting the “game” of an online contest, knowing that you’ll be able to rationalize any failures easily. If I lose there, it’s not a group of great people that loses. Just me.
In my case, this pressure can lead to procrastination. I’ll set aside all the pieces of the puzzle and look at it when I can really focus. Except then there’s always a smaller, easier thing to get out of the way first, and soon hours turn into days, turn into weeks, and I find myself outside the circle that I so much wanted to be in all along.
I do have good reasons. Things were going on in my personal life that really did take up more hours in the day than I planned to even spend awake, but there’s also that nagging fear in there too, that “fear of success” as my English 101 professor called it. He used to say that procrastination isn’t necessarily a fear of failure, it can be a fear of success as well. He would actually grade our excuses if we neglected to turn in an assignment. So we tried that much harder to never need an excuse.
My personal issues are mostly behind me — now I have just half a million things going on, not a million. But I want this to be one of the big ones, the very first neglected priority I’ve re-established since ANY time became available, and I’m so excited for all that has come before.
Enough blogging. I have work to do on this project, and I can’t use this as another tool for procrastinating!