…even if you’ve run out of patience.
I recently came across an article by Laura Miller about Writer’s Block.
I was particularly struck by these paragraphs:
Most cases of writer’s block are not, however, the result of a biochemical imbalance. Those not caused by being, as Eddie puts it, “depressed off my ass,” are more likely to be rooted in fear. It’s here that something called the Yerkes-Dodson Law applies. First proposed by two psychologists in 1908, this principle holds that the more “aroused” (i.e., engaged and challenged) a person is by a task, the better he or she performs, up to the point that the arousal becomes anxiety or worry, at which point performance declines.
In other words, beyond a certain point, the more difficult a writing task, and the more you think it matters, the more likely you are to become blocked. This may explain why journalists with, say, two deadlines per week almost never get blocked: no individual story ever has to carry that much weight. (The paycheck helps a lot, too. Not long ago, a woman sitting next to me on a plane asked if I had a trick for getting past writer’s block, and I replied, “Yes. It’s called a mortgage.”)
I would say that this rang true for me in the case of Play Sorcerer, because Play Sorcerer matters to me. Perhaps it has mattered too much. As I’ve struggled with the project all this time, I’ve struggled with all the support I got for the project – from you – and my desire to deliver something worthy of that project.
The process of working hard on it and stepping away from it has been the process of me doing the work and learning to stop panicking about it. I really have never experienced any project this way before.
For those of you who funded the project, whether or not you regret having done so, or are still excited about having done so (or both!) let me say, “Thank you,” one more time. Though I’ve had my share of excitement and doubt about the whole thing off and on for month after month, I can safely say I feel great about where the book is going and looking forward to having it wrapped up soon.