My parents have always been huge believers in going on a date every Friday night. Which pretty much meant that as kids, we got to be wild and crazy and watch TV even after bedtime.
Maybe we were slow to learn, because more often than not, we'd be in the family room when we realized it was eerily dark.
And none of us were certain we'd locked the doors.
And we were pretty sure we heard a noise from somewhere in the house.
And we were convinced it was a robber.
So my older brother (we'll call him Genius Brother, to protect the not-so-innocent) grabbed the poker from the fireplace tools with the intention of poking the bad guy in the stomach. When the robber was bent over from the stomach poke, I would hit him on the head with the fireplace shovel. Then my younger brother (we'll call him Convincing Brother) would use the fireplace broom to hit him on the back, then Organized Sister would spray him in the eyes with spray starch (which, for some strange reason, was always on the fireplace), and Happy Sister, who was a toddler, would be protected by anyone not currently using their weapon on the bad guy.
Then, with Genius Brother leading, we'd delve into the deep, dark unknown to search for the Big Scary, even though we were all too afraid to leave the room. But it was even scarier to stay in the room and wait for the bad guy to come to us! We walked in a shaky line, weapons at the ready, as we searched upstairs and downstairs, turning on every light and locking every door as we went.
And do you know what? Once we got all the way through the house, made sure it was free of any robbers, and completely secured and brightened, WE FELT GOOD. Like really good. Go-shout-and-dance-like-your-parents-aren't-home good.
When you've finished the first draft (or even the second or third or fourth draft) of your manuscript, sometimes you get an inkling that a certain part isn't quite right. You shy away from the thought, because to figure it out, you have to delve into the deep, dark, SCARY unknown. What if when you delve, you actually find something really bad? Something you uncover might require you to use every weapon at your disposal to fix it. Heck, it might take weapons you don't even own yet. And that's what's scariest of all.
Scary and hard. You might even need to take back-up support along with you. But when the Big Scary is routed and your manuscript is left all bright and shiny, it'll feel GOOD. Real good. Sing-and-dance-in-the-streets good.
And if you ask me, that's so much better than sitting in the room, cowering at the thought of the Big Scary's presence.
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