A few day ago, during revisions, I had the strangest whomp in the pit of my stomach. You know, that trapdoor, Holy Crap, Batman moment? This one I'd label Holy James Michener, Batman!
Old Mich can explain it better...
"Occasionally I come across one of my early books while waiting in the dentist's office. The first three pages, I see things that could be so much better. Then the next three pages will be so good, I can't remember that I did them. The ideas are not mine; they're more sophisticated, better phrased. I'm whipped between disappointment and exhilaration." ~James Michener
Most of my moments are of the former variety. I still have much to learn. But this whomp was entirely different. I had just read the best thing I'd ever written and I don't remember writing it. The whomp was filled with contracts and lists and reviews and opinions, some of them jaded. If you had told me before this moment I had a fear of success, I'd have said you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. And now? I'd say you might be on to something.
I've had a taste of that next tier not long ago. I remember the knots in my stomach, the certainty that I'd say the wrong thing to my agent and the knowledge that I had. On many occasions. I remember the betrayals and the games and the disillusionment. Mostly, I remember the joy vaporizing.
Is it any wonder I fear returning to that place?
So here I sit, the goals and plans I'm so adept at crafting before me, unmet, already behind though it has been a mere two weeks since I dropped them into a spreadsheet. Are the expectations too lofty? The excuses too valid? Maybe. More likely, these missed achievements are the product of a warm cocoon of endless revisions and outdistancing perfection. For if the words are still mine, they can belong to no one else.