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