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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Don't Sweat The Stupid Stuff

So, yesterday I had a little panic attack. Just a tiny one. I looked over my outline for my new project and freaked out because I'm pretty sure I started in the wrong place, the antagonist isn't well enough established, and I really doubt at this point that I have enough of a store to hit the 75k minimum needed to write a novel.

Okay, maybe it was a medium sized panic attack, verging on a nervous breakdown. I do this at chapter three in Every. Single. Book. It's a curse.

I hit my word count for the day, turned off my computer, and sought solace in what turned out to be a very bad book from twenty years ago by an author who write wonderful books now... how she got out of the slushpile back in 1990 or so I can't imagine. Standards in publishing have improved since my childhood.

Anyways, that book doesn't matter. The Cloud of Doom hanging over me like the Sad Music Montage in a cheap romantic comedy was the realization that Wednesday would come and I would need to write chapter three. There's no way around it. I'm four thousand words into the project, I need to write that chapter and set up the First Quest.

Last night I was tempted to scrap the project (my favored reaction to Chapter Three Angst) or to scrap the project through Avoidance by handing it off to my friends and begging them to reassure me that I shouldn't go on. But as I walked the dog the Voice of Logic came to me and whispered, "Who said anything about a novel?"

I raised an eloquent eyebrow. "Eh?"

"Who said this needed to be a novel? It's over 2k, plenty of places will publish it. Steampunk is a niche genre anyway, you could self-pub and call it a day."

"You mean... I shouldn't stress over the fact that I wrote the worst fight scene ever and that, at 4k, my book is nothing but dialog?"


And the Voice of Logic continued her walk in the woods to chase spiders or whatever she does when she's not chilling at my house and pointing out how unsanitary babies are.

Word count expectations were the final straw on the camel's back. It's not a concern, and I was letting it worry me out of proportion. I'm not doing that this year. I refuse to sweat the stupid stuff, word counts included.

What's your Stupid Thing that your refuse to fuss about this year?


  1. I gave up fussing over the stupid stuff years ago. So, when I start to fuss, I take a deep breath, step back, and laugh.

    Because my twisted sense of humour insists that the stupid stuff is laughable. :P

  2. I told myself to stop worrying about what everybody else was doing/achieving/appearing at and just concentrate on what I can reasonably do myself. It's not a competition.

    1. But it feels like one today. Every person cheering over their agent and top ten book is NOT ME. I didn't get an agent today. I don't have a bestseller today. I want to crawl in bed and cry, but that won't make my book hit the charts tomorrow, though I wish it did.

    2. We all have days like that. The ones getting the agents today were doing that last month. Two years ago I was watching other people get publishing contracts and agents while I was staring at rejection letters. But if you give up, you'll never get those things.

    3. I may print and frame that response.