Pre-NaNoWriMo Jitters

Oct 22, 2020 | NaNoWriMo Diaries

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

We are less than ten days away from the start of NaNoWriMo and I am freaking out, but in a very calm and collected manner. By that, I mean I’ve been staring at the several tabs open on my laptop: tabs related to outlines and research, drafts I through V of novel, and constructive criticism and feedback received to incorporate into my next one.

They all have me wondering: am I ready for this?

A part of me wants to rip off the band-aid and start working on the final draft to my novel already. I’ve been working toward this for so long, I might as well get a move on but another part of me is deathly scared: what if I screw it up? What if I’m still not ready?

What if [insert more terrifying questions here]?

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You know, the worst part about “what if” questions is the feeling that comes along with them. The dread, the incessant nagging in your head and the anchor you feel lodged into the pit of your stomach.

There are so many “what if” moments and thoughts we all have in life. I think it’s natural to get them about your your writing too…as long as they don’t turn disruptive. Mine have been, to a certain extent, holding me back.

What if this next draft isn’t the final one? What if my next editor tells me it’s no good and I have to start all over again? What if this novel never gets published? What if I’m too disconnected from my characters to do them justice?

Combine this with pre-NaNo jitters and you got yourself a writer in fight-or-flight mode.

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Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be feeling this way given how well Preptober’s been going. I’ve never planned so extensively before for NaNoWriMo but as prepared as I am for this year’s project, I feel like there’s more of a pressure to “perform” because of it.

I have very high expectations of myself and it’s what pushes me to do well in whatever I put my mind to…but it’s also rather terrifying, if I’m being honest. One of the worst people to let down is yourself, after all.

So here’s to hoping these jitters fade over the course of the next seven days. Otherwise, I might just dress up as myself on Halloween – a writer losing her mind.


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