Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Confession time

I'm going to confess one of the things I'm afraid of to you guys. One of my deepest fears is that I won't get published.

Something about me: I'm generally confident in my writing skills. I've been honing them since I was 11 and scrapped the screen play I was writing to start a novel (one of the best decisions of my life). In high school, I joined the school newspaper and became an editor. Both my degrees in college were heavily weighted toward writing skills. In my free time I continued to write novels and short stories and I got an editing job on my college newspaper. Last year I was a reporter – a writer for a living. Now I am a copy editor – my job is to make other people's writing better (among other things).

But here's the deal. No matter how good I think I am, sometimes I fear no one will see that. No one will pull me from the slush pile and take a chance. There are a lot of other people I will be competing against. And they may or may not have more interesting story ideas than I do. I don't know. I don't even get to size them up or anything.

But, worse than that, I sometimes am gripped by the fear that I may never actually finish a manuscript in order to be published. I have written about five novels, and obviously none of those went anywhere. I know this should be irrational. I haven't been in a position where I was editing a book, so that means that I'm progressing. I'm one step closer to what I want, but I can't help but think that I won't ever finish. This project has already spanned years. I know that must not be that impressive compared to what some other authors have been through. Still, I can't help but freak out when I think about all the work I have to do.

And yet, I continue onward. Not as often lately as I should, true. But I'm still writing. I'm still making my work better, more interesting, raising the stakes. And that, I'm sure, will make all the difference.

Despite the fear, I'm forging on. I'm not giving up. Not giving up is so important. It may just be the most important thing.

So tell me: What are some of your fears? What do you worry about heading out into the big bad world? I'd love to hear them and how you deal with them.

Also, I'm signing up for this really cool project, Thrid Writers Platform Building. You really need to come check this out and sign up today. Follow this link or click the picture in the sidebar on the right.