Friday, August 27, 2010

Mr. Bean's Performance Anxiety

I have a problem. No, it's not that I eat too many Oreo's or drink too many Mocha Frappucino's.

I have performance anxiety.

Book #2 in the Crimson Bay Series, Immortal, Beloved, is plotted out. I've got enough strife to make Jerry Bruckheimer cringe. I know my characters. I know the details of the plot that they're going to spin around and OH YES the hero and heroine will dance for me like puppets on my twisted string.

But I haven't started writing yet. This hasn't happened to me before. Usually when an idea takes root I can't stop myself from digging into page 1. Lately though I sit with my notebook and a pen and can't come up with a single idea how I'll start the ball rolling. I think it's because I know it has to be Good. Better than Good. This book has to knock the socks off Enemy, Beloved which means it has to grip the reader from the first line and not let go.

That's a lot of pressure.

I've been having bouts of insomnia lately. All I can do is lay in bed and daydream and try to lull my conscious mind to sleep with super random thoughts about sheep and fences and trips to Europe I have no desire to take. As I stared at my ceiling last night I imagined myself on the edge of a diving board. It's sweltering in the summer sun. I'm DYING to get in the pool. The water looks fresh and cool and...I just can't make myself jump in. Finally, after watching everyone else swim and splash and thoroughly enjoy themselves, I sit on the lip of the diving board and dangle my feet in the water. It feels great. I WANT to jump with every part of my being. But I know I won't. I can't. It's kind of depressing.

When I awoke this morning I found this old Mr. Bean video. (Remember him? Wasn't he great back when silent comedians were It?) Anyway, his antics on the top of the high dive fit my little daydream perfectly.



All Beans aside, I know I'll write the hell out of this book. I know I'll love it more than any other because, let's face it, every book gets better and better. As you go and learn more about craft, writing gets tighter, characters wallow in more angst, and blood continues to spill on the page at increasingly gruesome levels. I guess I'd just rather wade into the chilling pool than jump right in. This is the most concrete outline I've ever done...but hesitating and overthinking is not how books are written, are they? They come from inspiration and DARN IT I'm going to get me some this weekend. (Inspiration, that is.) (And yes, that was a little Cali-ghetto coming out of this English teacher.)

Wish me luck. This weekend I'm diving headfirst into Immortal, Beloved. Let's just hope I don't bust my head open on the concrete bottom of the creativity pool.

3 comments:

Summer Ross said...

goodluck, and you know if you can't start at page one, start at page 15 atleast it has a one in it lol

Lisa said...

Good luck! I know you'll do great!

Kristin Miller said...

Lisa--thanks for the vote of confidence!

Summer--it's funny you mention that. The pages I wrote last night were the only ones that would come to me...but I think they're the start of Chapter 2 or 3. Certainly too "tame" to be the start of such a crazy story. So I think I may take your advice! :)