, ,

This is hard.


This is really hard.


This is falling off the Sears Tower and trying to tie your shoes on the way down, hard.


My imagination feels flaccid and useless.  Going the next round is harder.  The second draft of the book is harder than when you made it from scratch.  Everything has a question mark on it.  All aspects.  My head is full of slugs and doubts and something slimy drips out of my ears.


I’m trying to remember if I was ever any good and on the off chance of that, how I did it.  It’s like Superman is flying around, invincible and happy and someone shouts up, “Hey Supes, how do you fly?”—and he pauses, frowns, then plummets screaming and hits the ground—BAM—dead.  And that’s when you learn that fear of success is as bad as fear of failure and I feel both of them now, double-teaming me in the ears.




But this isn’t a pity post.  I know that I’m very fortunate to have this vexing task to begin with, fortunate to have the opportunity.  Not a “woe-is-me” post.  I know I’ll get to the other side somehow.  But to do that, I have to extract it, strangle it, and slap it down on the page—safely transfix it to the screen, like a pinned butterfly in a collection.  And then I catch all my vexations like that, pin each one down.  And I give them all Latin names and show off my collection.  “Here’s imaginationous limpus; here is phobos commitmenta; here is slothis totalis.”


And that’s what I do.


And when It becomes aware and realizes…


When It sees…


…that It’s just an itty-bitty insect writhing on one of my pins…


…then my fear will be afraid of me.