On being precious, or, a bad case of fear and the ‘what ifs?’

Ugh. Please, not this.

 

As you are probably aware, I have a completed book ready to publish (actually, I have four that are finished and awaiting further editing, but I digress).  While I thought The Queen of England: Coronation was done previously, now I think it’s ready.  While I’m not 100% enamored with the cover, I do believe that it’s good enough to get the job done.  The real problem?  This is what I’ve been working on since I left the ‘real world’ last year.  This is THE thing I said I was going to do.  This is more than my other books, all of which were written, edited, and published while I was working full time.  In my mind, there has always been so much more pressure on the Queen trilogy.

It’s not a big secret that I’ve always wanted to support myself through my writing.  Not wildly successful, but enough that would justify this break I’m having with traditional employment.  I want to be proud of myself when I log into my Amazon author page and see there are plenty of pages read and books bought.  I want to see reviews (good or bad).  I would love to see fan art or fan fiction (yes, really).  I want to see people add my book on Goodreads.  I don’t care about awards, but I do want Juliette to find an audience with someone (I think she deserves that much).  I’ve read plenty of YA to know where I fit into the pack, but I also know I am not the worst (nor am I the best).  I am someone who, on paper, should have some success.  But…

What if I don’t?

What if it fails?

What if it fails epically?

What if no one buys it?

What if people hate it?

What if I’ve been wasting my time?

Do I deserve to call myself an author if no one reads my stuff?

What if the money I’ve put towards editors, etc. have been for nothing?

Yes, of course, I was always going to write this book, but what if writing (for me) will never amount to more than an (expensive) hobby?  What then?  Will that be enough for me?

At what point do I say, ‘no one wants to read what you’re writing, so just stop it already?’ (Probably my biggest fear).

The worst part is, of course, there are no answers to any of these questions.  I won’t know until I publish, but until I publish, then they are not possible.  I have Schrodinger’s manuscript at the moment (if you will).

I still can’t pick a specific day to publish, but I think it will be this month.  I’m not sure if I will feel relief or disappointment or (what I’m really hoping for) motivation to continue on and be excited about publishing the remainder of the series.

2 thoughts on “On being precious, or, a bad case of fear and the ‘what ifs?’

  1. This is SO on point. Two thoughts:

    1. The fear of everything you’ve listed has prevented me from EVEN TRYING to write a book. At least you’ve written one. You have an actual collection of pages that form a story that you wrote yourself. You could print it out and hold it in your hands. (I fantasize about this.) You can point to a tangible thing that you created that wasn’t there in the world before. Be SO proud of that!

    2. But – I completely and totally empathize with your fears and I think the only way out is through. Keep on keeping on. You’re a writer if you write, and you have written. I understand the difficulty of wanting an audience (if a tree falls in the forest…) but I think you just have to own it and just keep saying it to enough people and – BOOM – you’re a writer. The rest will follow as it will.

    I know that is 0 comfort. This is The Struggle. I get it. But anyway, from one WRITER to another, I am so proud of you! Well done, keep inspiring those of us who are desperately trying to even just get some words on paper that are our own.

    1. Thank you, chica. I think the universe sent me a kick in the pants via your nice words and a lovely review I received this morning on one of my books. Look for the Queen soon! 🙂

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