Fear of a new project

So I've started a new project. Actually, I've started two new projects.

And I'm scared.

What if these projects fail to come off properly? What if the last project is the last good thing I'll ever write? (What if it isn't that good, and I'm fooling myself into thinking I'm any good at all?) What if I'm one of those writers who is only capable of doing one thing, and then it all dries up and I'm never able to produce anything of interest ever again?

(I do realize that last one seems a bit far-fetched, as I have written several books. But if you take the "My favorite book is the one I'm working on/just finished" principle seriously, as I do, then all those previous books weren't important.)

And starting is so hard. I hate starting. My favorite part of writing is about Chapter Three-Twelve or so, with sparks of joy smattered throughout the rest. In the beginning it all feels clunky and hard. The book doesn't really know yet what it's going to be, and neither do I. Maybe the characters are being amusing when the book is supposed to be serious. Or perhaps it's the opposite. Maybe I've stuck everyone in a situation that I have no idea how they're going to get out of and I start thinking they never will get out of it and I should just start over. Or that this situation really does nothing for the rest of the book, so why am I continuing with it?

Whatever it is, the entire thing feels like a dull waste of time for the first chapter or so. It isn't until I hit 5k words (or that area) that it takes shape and becomes exciting to me.

Until then I'm racked with fear. Fear that it never will take shape, fear that it's all a bunch of crap, fear that I stink and the Dumb Luck Writing Fairy will never return to my humble mind. (This lasts, of course, until I hit about Chapter Three--sometimes Two--and decide this book is The One[!!!!] and my life will never be happy until I've finished it.)

That's a good place to be. But it's so scary to get there. Like travelling through a creepy dark forest (see how bad my similes are? I will never write anything decent ever again.)

What scares you about writing? How do you feel when you start a new project?


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