Stephanie Burgis
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writing panic
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Have you ever felt that sensation of total panic when you sit down to work on a specific project? It's a project that you really care about, one that (you hope) has great potential to win you good grades/ applause at work/ fabulous reviews from your peers, and yet if it doesn't work you know you'll feel absolutely terrible and maybe get bad grades / a reprimand at work/ the withering contempt of your peers, and you desperately want to get it done quickly for a deadline (whether school-/work- or self-imposed) and yet every time you think "Okay then, it's time to get started" you feel such gut-clenching panic that you can't stand to even think about it...?

Well, that's how I'm feeling right now about the opening of Congress of Shadows. I meant to have a draft of it written by the end of this week. Hahahaha. I meant to have at least sat down and had a long, productive think by myself about how I should rewrite it (or at the very least, what should happen in the opening scene). I meant...

Well. The main thing is, it didn't happen. Because every time I even try to think about it, big warning sirens go off in my head and what I end up thinking instead is: I can't do it! It's going to suck! It will be even worse, and I'll feel pathetic! Aaaaaa... Ad nauseum. No fun at all.

So I hurry back online to sedate myself with surfing, or I break out the advent calendar chocolate, or I start a new Sudoku puzzle and turn the music on the stereo up loud to cover up my thoughts.

So here's my question: what do you guys do when you start to feel panic about a project? How do you get yourself to relax and just go for it?


PS: In non-writing-panic news: Friends are awesome. Over breakfast today I finished reading Cherie Priest's Four and Twenty Blackbirds (a birthday gift from Vickie - thank you!!!) and just as I was starting to really moan about how I had nothing to read, a package arrived today with Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia trilogy, from SarahP. I'm already 200 pages into The Thief and having so much fun. And when you add to all this the fact that I'm thinking it's about time to make another recipe from the Mac 'n Cheese cookbook... :) Well, I'm feeling really lucky right now. Thank you guys!

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