Fear Of Finishing

Painted in WaterlogueBlogging is still not comfortable for me, but I learned to type on an ancient device known as the typewriter. When you were done, what you’d written wasn’t immediately available on Google for everyone to see. Writing a post feels like running around buck naked, but I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. I notice a lot of Aspie blogs have a few posts, then get abandoned, or the Aspie has moved on to another interest. No post on a blog for awhile looks the same on the surface to an NT, but if you’re on the spectrum it’s a different animal.

In my case I’ve started and stopped blogging several times, ever since I heard that writers needed to have blogs, and tweet and and and…but now I’m committed. I just don’t know how many posts I will produce, since I have a tendency to think none of them are good enough and, I discard about ten for every one I end up posting.

The perfectionism piece of Autism is inconvenient and amusing. It took me the better part of a year to edit book one in my Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance (I have to use both designations, because my series sits right in the middle of the two genres). To further prolong matters, I re-wrote the book again while making the suggested changes. One day my editor said, “You’ve done really well, now you can send it out to agents.” I freaked out, froze, and didn’t touch the book for weeks. I discovered I was terrified. Afraid of rejection, afraid of the success I crave, and since there are steamy love scenes, afraid of what my parents and friends might think.

That project is now complete and the struggle seems far away, but I wanted to mention it, just incase someone else who reads this has the same struggle or knows someone who does. I edit with ease now and make the changes suggested by editors or writing partners, but I didn’t get there overnight. Human nature is a funny thing. In the deepest darkest regions of our psyche there are embarrassments we never share and experiences we do not discuss with anyone. Talking about those hidden corners and ragged edges is the key to acceptance, for who among us hasn’t known fear?

By sharing our frailties, we become the very embodiment of the human spirit. People want to support and help. To lift up the one person who bares their soul is to acknowledge the many who are still struggling to tell their truth.

Since I’m now writing a memoir and the fiction books are resting, this all seems silly and ridiculous. But at one time not so long ago, editing was a challenge, so I’m sharing it.  My number one piece of advice after three and a half months of knowing I have Autism is; if you haven’t figured everything out no matter how old you are, it’s ok.  The earth will not stop spinning, take a deep breath and follow your dreams.  Ask for help when you need it.  There is no shame in not knowing how to do everything, and no one expects you to.

I sometimes feel what I refer to as the ‘rushies’.  I want to do something quickly, publish, write, shop, edit. I feel that whatever task I’m working on should have already been completed years ago, and I get impatient, or discouraged. In the past this might have led to having a bout of disenchantment with myself and wondering what’s wrong with me.  Now – I laugh, cause I get it.  I think of my brain like a computer, occasionally it has glitches.  When watching TV, the cable may glitch. The picture gets stuck or the volume goes out. I don’t toss the TV out the window or smash the cable box. I never call the cable company, to complain because I know in a few minutes everything will go back to normal. So I asked myself, how can I have more patience with cable than I do with myself? This is the sixth try at writing a new post, and I like this one. See, I’m getting better. My next post will be on zombies. Bet you didn’t expect that from an African American woman over 50.


About M Anderson

After my self-diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome in 2013, followed by an official diagnosis in 2014, I began to look for other African American people like me and discovered a void. Hopefully this blog will help others who like me are looking for tips, answers and company.

Posted on March 16, 2014, in Adult Autism, Autism, Black People with Autism, Editing, Fear of finishing, Fear of success, Writers with Autism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As an autistic writer I know well the fear of finishing! Well, finishing is fine, but sharing it with others is terrifying, it feels like sending my baby out to be beaten up and bullied. I always feel like what I write isn’t quite good enough, and is never really “ready”.
    In the end I just grit my teeth and do it, and it’s never as bad as I feared, haha.

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