And repeat after me...
It's been two years since I've really started seriously writing and I have to tell you, I'm terrified. I've tried to hide this from everyone, but the truth is. I'm a writer and I'm terrified.
There's a part of me that wishes we could have a 12 step program to deal with the ups and downs of writing. As writers, we're addicts. We're addicted to the words in our heads and how they move onto the page. We gorge ourselves on them and when we come down, we crash. Just like any other addiction.
When you think about it like that, it's kind of frightening. But at the same time, it's also amazing. We create stories in our heads. Entire worlds full of people and things and then we throw them out into the real world for others to see.
And that is the terrifying part. Others get to see it. Others get to experience these worlds we've created and judge them. And as much as we try to pretend that we are immune to criticism, we are still scared that someone won't like this beautiful creation.
So, I'm terrified and excited. Hate Jacket is out on submission. I have researched agents and beat my query into something resembling a state of awesome. And I'm terrified that I've screwed something up. That my query may not be strong enough. That my characters voice won't be clear or my plot will have holes large enough to drive a semi-truck through. That my dialog will be flatter than a pancake. That I've missed some major typo that I should have caught in revisions. That I didn't do enough revisions. That I'm not good enough.
I try to pretend that these thoughts don't plague me at odd hours of the day. I try to pretend that I'm fine and I'm not screaming inside in abject horror. I try to pretend that I don't want to curl into a small little ball, hide under the covers until it all goes away.
This is what I do when I'm scared. I pretend. I pretend that everything is fine. Unfortunately, that's self-destructive. It's a siren's call that I know will lead to me closing myself away and wasting my time playing computer games and not writing. Which is what I've been doing for a couple weeks. Which is stupid because I have an AWESOME new shiny story that is clawing at my brain to be told. I've written 1,000 words on it. That's it. I should be a couple chapters in by now.
But I'm scared. And that's ok. It's ok to be scared. If I wasn't scared, I wouldn't be human. And I am human.
I also know that I can't do this alone. It's not for a lack of strength. It's not for a lack of confidence. I know I can do this, but there is no reason I have to do it alone. I have friends and family there to cheer me on and help me when I need help.
Last night when I forced myself to sit down and send out queries, I posted on twitter. I had no less than a dozen people cheering me on. Wishing me luck. Seriously, my feed exploded. It was almost overwhelming to see. It made it easier to send out.
Hi, I'm Andrew. I'm a writer and I'm terrified but I am so grateful to all of you who are there to support me in this insane pursuit of a writing career. No matter what happens, I'm not alone. And that makes all the difference.
'Till Next Time
The good news, You are NOT alone! Our community is shaky and neurotic together. but you ARE good enough. Put one word in front of the other, and WRITE YOUR SHINY! :DReplyDelete
Thank you. :D And this is why I don't curl up in a ball. :DDelete
yes. If it wasn't for the writer-ly community, I'm not sure I'd have sent out all of those queries. But it sure helps to know we aren't alone :)ReplyDelete
Everyone talks about fear as being a bad thing. It just means you're doing something besides sitting in a little box.Delete
Hi, I'm Mittens, and I am afraid. Querying is terrifying. Do whatever you need to do to get yourself through it. But yes, writing is a good distraction if you can concentrate enough to get it done.ReplyDelete
Good luck with your new story! Come do #writeclub sprints some night. It's surprisingly motivating, and distracting!
I've thought about #writeclub. I think someone else suggested it as well.Delete
Hi I'm Carolyn and I am so scared some days I can't type 'cause my hands are shaking so bad.ReplyDelete
We are not alone.
I haven't gotten the shakes yet (thankfully) but I may have had a mild panic attack last night. o_0Delete
And Yes, we are not alone.
Well damn. Had I known you needed your ass kicked, I would have been glad to do it. :PReplyDelete
Yeah, it's scary, but don't think about that part. Think about the world you're creating; getting your characters into trouble, or, if you're like me, finding ways to kill them off. Focus on what's important; the story. Put down the game remote, open up the word file, and type. You don't have to do a lot, maybe a few words. Let yourself fall under the spell of your Muse. Let her whisper in your ear.
:D Thank you.Delete
*shoves a cookie in your mouth*ReplyDelete
Don't make me get Dino!
PS: we always berate ourselves that "we're not good enough" but you know what, just having one person reaffirm we ARE is enough! :D Love you!
Thank you, Jai. :D *hugs*Delete
You are not alone. Feel the fear and do it anyway, as they say. Good luck with those queries!ReplyDelete
*Hugs* Thank you.Delete
It is definitely an addiction, but at least it's one that won't kill you unless you go really crazy ;).ReplyDelete
It is terrifying. I'm getting ready to be doing with Catalyst what you're doing with Hate Jacket, and I kind of sat dumbfounded on the couch the other day going, "Wait. I NEED TO RESEARCH AGENTS. It's not just a far-off dream anymore. It's actually something I need to do."
And then spent the next day going, "OMG CATALYST STILL NEEDS SO MUCH WORK."
I hear you, Andrew. So very much.
:D Good luck! You can do it and I'm sure Catalyst is great!Delete
I have enough hangups just trying to finish a WIP, but this is exactly how I feel when I even think about getting to the querying process!ReplyDelete
It is very scary, but something I've learned is I'm not alone. There are a lot of writers out there doing the same thing I am. You'll get there. Just take your time and try to remember to breathe. :DDelete
Hi Andrew. If your ms is as well-written as this post, I know you'll go far :) Hang on to your fear. It's not a bad thing. It means YOU WANT IT. You're hungry. Sooner or later, an agent will see that :)ReplyDelete
Hey! I recognize your name! :D Thank you for stopping by. And yes, I am hungry (eats breakfast). ;-) <--Also snarky.Delete
Hi, Andrew! I'm Lissa! And I had the terrifying realization last year that I'm not just a writer, but a poet, and we all know rarely anything comes around for them until they're dead. *sigh*ReplyDelete
Alas, we write what is in our minds and hearts, we write what drives us, and sometimes we get scared as heck over it. Truthfully there's a lot to scare us writers. But we just have to keep writing and laugh in the face of whatever it is that frightens us.
You can do it! Fighting!
*Hugs* :D Thanks Lissa. I'm a poet too and that is awesome! I would love to read your poetry anytime.Delete