Deb Elise’s Wild Terror of New Beginnings

New Beginning TerrorCreatively, there’s not much that’s more daunting than a totally blank page waiting for you to spin it into either gold… or crap.  Those are of course the only options — each blank page will either catapult your career to that coveted next level, or reveal you for the fraud you truly are.

Know what helps me?  Writing freelance, and having all kinds of deadlines.

Since I still have all my “Let’s Analyze 2010” stuff out, I checked to see how many new beginnings I had in the year.  This isn’t counting things I was working on in 2009 that carried over — these are projects that were blank pieces of paper in 2010:

Two Book Manuscripts

One Travel Guide Chapter

Three DVD Features

One Website/Blog

Two Web Project Pitches

Two TV Show Treatments

Three Movie Pitches

Two Book Pitches

Six TV Show Episodes

Now I’m not saying I did these all start to finish in 2010.  Some are still very much works in progress, some I started just recently, and some are much smaller projects than they sound.  Yet whether I’m starting a blog post or a manuscript, there’s still that blank screen with the blinking cursor, and the nagging moment of paralysis where I can’t get started because I’m worried I’ll fail.

For me, I do best when I know I don’t have the luxury of time to wallow in that fear, because if I have the wallow-time, I tend to take it.  When I know I need to get over myself and get to work, I (most of the time) can shake off the neuroses and hop to it.

How about you?  Do you exult in the blank page, filled with possibilities?  Or does it make you recoil in terror?  And if the latter, what do you do to combat that?

Can’t wait to hear!

(Oh, and just for the record, I’ve already defaulted on several New Year’s resolutions.  Making several pages of them might not have been the best idea…)

~Deb Elise

11 thoughts on “Deb Elise’s Wild Terror of New Beginnings

  1. Agreed- wallow time is killer. Take off your shoes and jump in. I have a mental deadline (read that however you’d like) for my MS. And I’m going to meet it. And sell a book. And and and drink more coffee!

    • YES on the coffee!!!! I often start drinking it at 11pm and don’t stop till I crash… a buzzy, woozy, wild-half-dreaming crash. FUN!

  2. I love a blank page. Beginnings excite me — so full of possibilities! It’s the finish that terrifies me. “The End” is so final. For an inveterate fiddler like me, it’s tough to ever say anything is “done.”

    • See, and I LOVE the feeling of finishing! Even if I know I’m going to go back and tweak, there’s nothing more satisfying then reaching the end of a script/manuscript. It’s like crossing the finish line of a marathon… except without the medal. Note to self: invest in medals.

    • That makes a LOT of sense. Yesterday was actually lovely that way. I put aside my to-do list and spent the day hanging out with my daughter at her Krav Maga class, then we surprised my grandmother and took her to lunch, then daughter and I went roller skating where we held hands and rolled around for four hours. Then back home where husb had a fire roaring and Chinese food from a great restaurant. Serious, serious bliss.

      Then I napped from nine to midnight before hitting the computer till 3am. 🙂

  3. I don’t mind the blank page, but that’s usually because I don’t stare it down until I’ve spent a long time thinking about my ideas and then doing research. So while the page may be blank, I’m already ready to fill it up.

    But your list is a wonderful example of everything we can accomplish when we’re willing to kick it into gear!

    (P.S. Spent all day feeling hurt that you hadn’t replied to my comment. Then realized the tab was still open and I hadn’t clicked ‘Submit Comment’. I am truly, truly gifted.)

    • That is TOTALLY the kind of gift I’d share. There is a famous bit of family lore in which I spent a very long time standing outside the car, waiting for my parents to unlock the door so I could get into the backseat.

      The car was a convertible.

      The top was down.

      Reach in and unlock the door, maybe? Never crossed my mind.

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