Yesterday, Ms. Brennan gave another wonderful post - The War of Art - which got me thinking. Even more, it got me introspecting. What is it I am afraid of (in relation to the business of writing)? I posted the following comment to the blog:
I think the worst fear I battle right now is the fear of rejection. (Which is silly considering how much rejection there is in this business.) Right now, I’m having a devil of a time sending out queries. I make up things to do instead of querying. I tell myself I’m too busy writing or editing to think about it. But when I do a little introspection, like I did just now, I know the truth is that I’m afraid the people I’m querying just won’t see how good my work is - not because it isn’t any good, but because of the whole myriad of things other than writing, like the agent is having a bad day. You know… Things outside my control.
But there's definitely more to it than that.
I don't think I have a fear of success - although if I were to succeed in this business, I don't quite know what I'd do. However, I'm pretty sure I have the same fear as Ms. Brennan - that this book won't be as good as the last. Heck, I still feel that my first book is the best book I have written so far, and I'm constantly trying to surpass, or at least match, that opus.
I also have a fear of failure. Not the failure of writing. I went through that already, and dealt with it. Nope. I have a fear that no matter how much I write, or how good it is, I will fail to sell. Yeah, yeah. I know I know. If it's so good, it has to sell. Right? Not necessarily. See the post on subjectivity below. It could be awesome, but any number of factors could come into play to keep it out of the publishing houses. Subjectivity scares the crap out of me. You can never predict it, you can never control it, and when you least expect it, it jumps out of the bushes, knocks you into the dirt and mauls you like a bear.
So many fears, it's damn near paralyzing. I know it's paralyzed my querying. Although I did get one out yesterday, and just before I hit SEND, I was teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Baby steps.
On the bright side, I'm not afraid of my writing abilities. I know my work is good. Beyond that, if you don't believe me, I've had other people tell me my work is good. (And not just my mother, who BTW has never read my work. She's waiting for the print editions - she doesn't have a computer and it's too hard to print everything and mail it.) Oh sure, I have days where I feel like a certain scene is crap, but I do some editing and tweaking and the feeling goes away. Doesn't everybody?
Now I have to shake away the fears and get some query packets out today. ONWARD!
What's freaking you out today?
Thursday This n That
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