I appreciate the posts that are more empathetic to Michelle, despite that I find my own empathy for her paralysis to be limited. I have an intellectual empathy for her, without really being able to put myself in her shoes. Mind you, I am not immune to procrastination in a creative project! But mine is the polar opposite of hers. I procrastinate when I get those deadly thoughts, "Oh, who really would be interested in this drivel, anyway?" Procrastination never rears its ugly head when I can feel the encouragement of people waiting for my work on the other side, eager to experience it. In those cases, thoughts about "is it good enough?" (which of course occur) just make me work harder and faster to make it good enough.
I wonder if her publisher moved the deadline sooner by a month, towards the end, because they were getting frustrated by not seeing anything from her, were getting tired of her excuses, and thought lighting a fire under her would get her off her ass. Maybe they didn't really expect her to make the new deadline. Maybe they just wanted to see something.
I also wonder if the drugs (Ambien and whatever else, if anything) were counter-productive.
As I say, I might not feel any of this investment in her problem if I hadn't read the book and been ticked off (worthy as the book was) by how good it could have been. I didn't care about me. I wanted her to be better for her. So I guess I do have empathy.