Little by Little

Thank you all for your patience as this site slowly comes together. Though I had grand visions of flash intros and 8-bit RPGs, little by little, I'm learning that ambition must give way to slow connection speeds and hobbled ability. ("Wait, you mean I have to actually know how to use Flash? Drat...") So, it turns out that I will be a simple gal with a simple site. Somehow, that seems appropriate.

For those of you who don't know me (you fortunate souls!), I am Vivienne Mathews, and this is where I shall henceforth be turning to express my woots and woes in trying to wedge my foot in the door to relevance and really real authorship. In all honesty, it'll probably just be post after post of me falling on my face, dusting myself off, and running squarely into a wall. It's this thing I do. I fall down. And I'm not too humble to admit that I'm very adept at it.
As a literally and figuratively clumsy figure, I know that failure is an art form all its own -- one with oh so many lessons to teach. Little by little, despite objections from my unscathed patches of gumption, I aim to learn them all.

Today's failure: writer's block. Sort of. Though I've written a fair amount in the last month, not a word of it has been on the one project that matters. The second draft of the Mosque Hill Fortune, Part Two sits on the verge of the final climax, untouched; an obnoxious icon in the corner of my screen that pecks and pecks and pecks at my sanity. It isn't that I'm unsure how to proceed with the story. The plot is sorted. I know what comes next. It's the crippling fear that I'm going to get it wrong. Or worse, that I'll get it right and no one will notice.

See, as a writer, the hardest part isn't the work. It isn't the gazillion cups of coffee or the dutiful plinking away at the keyboard. It's knowing that, once the work is done, you'll be sending it out into the world to be read and judged and possibly passed over. Because how could it ever mean as much to someone else as it does to you? You created it. Molded it. Agonized over it in ways that would put any fretting mother to shame. And now, as a matter of procedure, you're meant to let it just go wandering about without a safety net? No, no, no. Better to keep it safe and sound inside your head. A fantasy that no one else need ever see.

Book Two is far from finished. It will need many revisions more before it starts pounding on the exit door, demanding to be released. But it is nearer now than it has ever been. And frankly, that scares the bejeezus out of me. Quite silly for someone who writes about otter pirates, don't you think?

Logically, I know that this is a ludicrous, self-imposed hurdle. I've hopped my happy way across it numerous times before, and this is certain to be no different. A few more cups of coffee, the forced removal of distractions (read "my ethernet card"), and, little by little, the plinking will resume, as it always does.

I'm probably not alone in this goofy affliction of mine, am I? What about you, dear reader? Fellow writer? Do you find yourself sabotaging your progress with *dun, dun, dun* procrastination the way that I do? If so, I have a few words for you. Incidentally, they are the same words I have for myself, right now:

Suck it up. Do it anyway. No one is going to tell your story but you. 

Maybe it will be that no one appreciates it when you're done, whether or not you do it well. Maybe it will fall down, dust itself off, and run squarely into a wall. Maybe it will fail. And maybe, should you be so lucky, you will learn from your failures until you succeed.