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Fear of Starting

Why The Fear?
I have a short story I’m really excited to write.  I have the proposal for a Y/A book series to prepare.  But I keep hesitating and hesitating.  I’m like a dog who keeps circling her bed trying to figure out the right way to lie down, that perfect position that will be comfortable and safe.
Once I’ve started writing I’m fine.  Get me past that first page, and I’m golden.  Especially if I have a good outline. I get up each day, go into the office, pick up the pages — I like to print out my outline so I can mark off each scene as it’s written.  It gives me a real sense of accomplishment — and write the next scene.  And then the next scene, and then the next scene.  And guess what?  Before you know it you have a story or a book.
But that getting started.  Damn it’s hard.  I’ve always described it as that deep rooted fear that _this_ will be the project the proves that I have absolutely no talent.  Never have, never will.  I’ve just been fooling everyone.
I think part of it is the knowledge that those opening few lines, that first page are going to set the tone for the entire story or book.  It’s irrational, but I have the feeling that if those sentences aren’t right it will poison the entire work.  I know you can rewrite anything, but I find it hard to rewrite the opening.  It’s like I’ve set the world in motion with those few words, and it can’t be taken back.
Maybe its the conflict between the rational and the creative.  Craft is rational.  Inspiration comes from a very different source, and it’s harder to quantify.
I was about to go into a big ramble about craft, but I realized it would work better as a separate post.  So, I’m going to close this snivel, and hope you folks can offer me some tricks to overcome the Start Fear, and give me a few pets to make me feel better.  I’ll do a separate post about craft.

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