Hi all! This week feels like a fresh start–revisions are out the door, children are accounted for, flus are being gotten over. So here we are, revived and refreshed, ready to talk about…what scares us as writers. Yeah, that’s right. We get scared. Not of the boogeyman (although don’t ask me to explain why I have to have my husband sleep nearest to the door) but of writerly neuroses–both real and imagined.
1) I’m scared of rejection. Not of my next book (although there’s that too). But of requests I need to do in the every day life of an author. For instance, going up to the local B&N children’s department manager and asking that they stock my book (“We can stock two.”). Or asking an independent bookstore if I can have a book signing (haven’t done this yet–plan to get over this hump for CASHING IN). Or asking a writer I greatly admire to write a cover blurb for me (I did and she said maybe possibly and she and my editor need to talk). If you don’t ask, you won’t get rejected–but you’ll go nowhere.
2) I’m scared of losing the passion. In the day-to-day minutiae of other jobs and raising children and migraines and the to-be-read bookpile, it’s easy to be afraid of losing your passion and chucking in the towel. But those dark days are usually created by hormones or insomnia. As long as there’s people roleplaying in my head as I fall asleep and people like Lauren Conrad and Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton getting book deals, I have a stick-it-to-’em passion to write my books.
3) I’m scared of readers. Boy, am I in the wrong field, huh? But it’s true, I’m scared of readers thinking they wasted their time reading me. I’ve actually had teen reading groups assigned to read BLACK TUESDAY, and I worry that they hated every single minute of the book. This is one of those neurotic, take-a-Vicodin-already fears. I know it, my brain knows it–I obsess about it anyway on those dark, hormonal, sleep-deprived days.
4) I’m scared of writing a story I didn’t intend to write. You know when a story is bright and shiny and new, and your outline or synopsis or one-paragraph summary is written and then you start writing your 300-page book and forget about that outline/synopsis/summary and the book you intended to be the next Heathers turns into Dude, Where’s My Car? I’m not saying that’s happened (at least to that extent) but it’s a realistic fear.
5) I’m scared of never getting published again. It’s a bad time out there in publishing. But deals are still being made, and money is still exchanging hands. All I can do is write–write the book I intended to write for readers that I KNOW will love the book will all the passion and none of the rejection lurking in the back of my neurotic, not-medicated-enough brain.