I had knee surgery last Friday. Nothing major, just cleaning up a torn meniscus and a few other things. It went well, according to the doctor. All was done arthroscpically, so it's supposed to heal up pretty fast. But I do have to take it a little easy on it and keep it elevated and all that. I'm down to using just one crutch and can put some weight on it. And am mostly off the pain meds, except at night, so I can sleep.
What does all this have to do with writing? Well, one would think, with all this time sitting on the sofa with the leg propped up, I could get a whole lot done, yes? One would be wrong. Oh, I did get some done. I pretty much finished up that last scene in the Novel-In-Progress (hereafter known as the NIP), which has been a goal for a while now. I've been hesitating on reading it back now. Why? Because once I can say to myself that it's done (not complete, but we'll get to that), I have to move on to the next step: readers. And that is always the hardest part for me.
I'm not even asking them to make complete critiques right now. All I have "finished" is the main plot- no sub-plots, side story or back story. And all I really want to know is if it hangs together as the basic story. There are problems, I know that. The ending needs a huge rewrite, but it gives the gist of it and that's what I need right now. So why the hesitation?
Hey, this is my baby! I've been working on this thing, off and on, for two years. I think it's a pretty decent story that could make a nice read. But, deep down, I still have that fear of failure. I chose the people I would like to read it for me now because I think they will be honest. I'm sure they will point out the flaws, some of which I am aware of. Some, I'm sure, will be new to me. I need that, of course. I have to know what's wrong before I can fix it. What I fear most is that they will say it just plain stinks, start to finish. Then what? I keep telling myself that won't happen. But the nagging doubt remains.
Goal for this week? Get the manuscript out there. Ignore the doubting voice, because if no one ever reads it, it doesn't matter how bad or good it is, right?
The hardest thing in the world is to finally hit that SEND key.