What me? Panic?

I’m not really panicking. Honest.

Well, maybe just a bit.

I have just six days to finish a ‘good’ first draft of my non fiction book, so that DB can run through it with his red pencil while I am on my travels.

I am determined NOT to think about the project while I am in Turkey. But I am a bit concerned about how little time there is left before 11 p.m. next Wednesday. My ‘cut-off’ time. (After all, I do need a couple of hours to pack!)

I have been on a roller-coaster of doubt and panic over the past many months. Fiction was easy… kind of. I just had to somehow transfer the mess in my head to the page, then fix it up once it was there in front of me in black and while.

For this project, I have read numerous reports, scanned hundreds of news articles, studied websites and blog postings, sent  emails, juggled phone calls, done interviews, researched picture sources… and there will  be more of everything to do between this first draft and the next.

Some days I feel as if I am on top of it all. At other times, I am not even sure how to get to the point where I would be able to send the MS. to my editor.

 I am very afraid that I won’t be able to a) do justice to the very complex issue of homelessness, and to everyone who lives with it every day, or works to help people find a safe home, b) live up to the expectations of my publisher with whom I have published eight books, and c) do justice to my own need for achievement and perfection.

I can’t do this. I can do this. I can’t do this. You will do this. Maybe it would sound better set to music!

I know the best antidote to fear is action. In the same way I have learned that the best response to writers’ block is to actually write

So I am now going to quit moaning, publish this post, and get on with the job in hand. Because the one thing I have learned in the last few months is that if I am busy working, I can’t panic at the same time.

And as I have so many times before, I will follow the admonishment, “Leap, and the net will appear.”