The eventual goal once I’m finished my novel is to publish it.  Of course, I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I want to share and communicate my ideas with other people. (Preferably for pay. Preferably with an elite publishing co.) I want to ‘get my writing out there’ so my hard work and vision can be fully appreciated. (Hopefully.)

But then I start to think: once it’s ‘out there’, people I know might read it. Co-workers. Friends. Family. What are their opinions going to be? Or rather, how will I ever face them again after they’ve read a certain section?!?

So you start to self-edit. Ok, you start thinking. Can’t have that relationship scene in there, it’s too personal. Got to change how that character looks or everyone will recognize it as so-and-so. Can’t have any sex in it either, so you’d better cut the scene in the stables with the riding crop…

Next thing you know, you’ve lost all your juice because now you’re worried about ‘what people think’.

Natalie Goldberg once said something like: “When you’re writing, focus on writing. When you’re publishing, focus on publishing.” I agree with her: mixing both is a bit like mixing coffee with tequila shots.  Best not do it, or you’re going to upset your stomach…