25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing (4/25)

4.  Stop Worrying

Worry is some useless shit. It does nothing. It has no basis in reality. It’s a vestigial emotion, useless as — as my father was wont to say — “tits on a boar hog.” We worry about things that are well beyond our control. We worry about publishing trends or future advances or whether or not Barnes & Noble is going to shove a hand grenade up its own ass and go kablooey. That’s not to say you can’t identify future trouble spots and try to work around them — but that’s not worrying. You recognize a roadblock and arrange a path around it — you don’t chew your fingernails bloody worrying about it. Shut up. Calm down. Worry, begone.

I want to make excuses here.  I want to say ‘it will all work out.’  I want to see the glass half full.  I want to look back in five years and think all the hours and countless time I wasted worrying about whether or not I was doing / writing / promoting the correct way will be worth it.  However, it’s just not in my nature to do so.  I am a worrier.  I am a person with crazy insomnia that has nothing but hours at night to sit and go over how it’s all not going to work out – to second guess everything – to be concerned that things aren’t happening the way they should.  Worrying is just part of who I am – especially when it comes to my writing.

We worry about things that are well beyond our control.

That phrase is pretty much the story of my life.  I should make a cross stitch of this quote and put it up everywhere.  It would make me recognize the following: I can’t control the publishing industry.  Or if an agent wants to represent me.  Or if someone wants to buy my books.  What I can control is the quality of my writing.  My characters.  The worlds I create.  I can control when my book is published.  I can control what the cover looks like.  I cannot control is any of my books will be runaway successes, but that part of why it keeps me interested.

What do you worry about the most?

What are your thoughts?

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