I read a lot of tweets and posts about the fears we writers have — blank pages, writer’s block, inner critics (aka monsters), lack of ideas, rejection, etc. I think about these things and I think I fall more into the fear of finishing group. I fear finishing my novel because I not only have the usual fears noted above, but I’m really not sure what to do after I finish it. Editing and all being obvious, what do I do afterwards? Do I get an agent? Do I submit to publishers? Do I self-publish (and that option opens up a whole new set of questions)? What do I do?
Then there’s that question that looms in my mind…what if I am such a bad writer that I will never publish and the book will be a total embarrassment? You know, like those poor young people on American Idol who can’t carry a tune, but get up there and mortify themselves because their family has always told them they sounded terrific. Oh heavens, yet another fear to handle.
Fear is a great paralyzer, the root of much procrastination, especially as a writer. It’s a wonder any one gets the words on a page, much less published. The big FEAR is always standing in our way. We all have general fears in life, it’s human nature. But as writers, there are so many fears directly related to our craft that breaking free of them can be an insurmountable task.
How do we trudge on? For me, it takes a lot of pushing, a lot of will power. I push myself to get up early, to open the computer, to actually write. I will myself to forget all the “what ifs” for the time I’m on the computer writing. I will myself to just write and not think about the monster in my head screaming at me that I am not good enough.
In the end, I hope to be published and, more importantly, read by many. I don’t need a bestseller, but it would be nice. Then there’s the other “what if” that I fear. What if I can’t get published and/or no one reads my book, will I continue to write? I suppose I’ll find out soon enough; but the longer it takes to finish, the longer I can live in my dream world of being published someday. And there’s the catch.