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The answer (in my case) is threefold:
1. It begins with my personality. Besides the fact that being prone to anxiety runs in the Italian side of my family, I was informed several years ago by a colleague that I am an "external processor," rather than an "internal processor." That means that I have to talk my thoughts out, often to another person, to give them form and structure. (Thank God my husband is extremely patient.)
My problem is that I'm not to the point where I am ready to show any writer friends the manuscript, and my husband isn't versed in the craft of writing and revising fiction. I can't even use him as a beta-reader, because he hates reading in first-person. This inability to really talk out my thoughts and concerns leaves me a little befuddled. I can't seem to make a decision that I don't doubt. Which leads to reason number two...
2. I am no longer working on the first-draft. That means I don't have permission anymore to make crap. I am supposed to clean up the first draft "mess" and shine it and make it all better. The problem? I have never written a novel before. I have never revised a novel before. I must still rely on instinct as to the process of revising, as well as what I'm doing to "fix" my novel. Which leads to reason number three...
3. Remember that risk post a couple of weeks back? Well, I am stretching and growing, both as a writer and as a person. It feels uncomfortable.
The simple truth, though, is if I don't get going, I am going to fail. I will still have the first draft of Finding Meara, as well as any number of other first drafts, waiting to be revised when I'm eighty. I will never know if my work was publishable or not, because I didn't give it a chance, because I was too afraid to revise wrong. How silly does that sound!
Last night, I decided to just dig in. If I don't get the process "right" and it takes me forever, such is life. If I don't get started, it's going to take me forever, anyway. I might as well get on with it. And who knows, maybe it will all turn out okay!
Which kind of "processor" do you think you are? Is there anything about the revision process that makes you nervous?