Thursday, December 1, 2011

In which I am a weeny

I'm not creating blog entries. Did you notice? Just when I hit one hundred followers, the entries stopped. (By the way, thanks so much for your followship, guys! I really appreciate it.)

I'm not writing, either. You probably didn't notice, as you have no way of knowing, unless you're following me around in creepy spy vans, or standing across the street with a pair of binoculars held up to your eyes. *puts on clothes*

You see, I have this story. It's a pretty good story, almost a really good story, except I have to fix a few little things. Things that shouldn't take much time at all. Then, I can send it out to the world and have an amazing agent fall in love with it, followed by an amazing editor and then the rest of the world. I just have to fix these few little things.

Emotions are weird and I didn't realize until today why I haven't fixed these few little things. Why I'm wandering around dreaming up new ideas for new stories and actually humoring the possibility of not even querying my current project. What? I spent a year writing a story. I know it's pretty decent. I don't query it? What's going on with my brain? Why would I even consider that?

Maybe I'm afraid of success? Maybe I know this story has a chance and I'm afraid of that possibility.

Maybe I'm just busy. Well, that's true. I am busy. But, I've been busier and gotten more work done. So, that doesn't count.

Or, maybe I'm so normal that it's embarrassing. Failure. Ah, yes, my old friend failure. The possibility that this story, the one that's actually quite good, might not make it. The best I can do isn't good enough. Isn't right. Isn't wanted. Again.

I'd rather just snuggle up in the world where acceptance is still a possibility. Where I don't have to read the rejection letters filling my inbox. I can just imagine and pretend that everyone loves my story. Everyone wants me.

But I can't live here much longer. :/

Bleh. Stupid, human emotions. Stupid fear. Kill them all!

What about you? Has fear of failure ever kept you from doing something you wanted to do?


  1. I was right where you are not long before I started querying my novel (which I am still querying). I went through that period of "maybe this isn't it... maybe it's not what any agent would want..." etc. etc. I loved (and still love) my novel. In the end, I gave myself a hard deadline to finish my revisions, making it as good as I possibly can, at which point I would start querying. I knew I just had to do it.

    But also bear in mind, it's okay if this is not the one. You're allowed to have a couple of novels "under the bed"--even ones you like--prior to finding an agent and launching a career. Have you read the current PubRants blog article? It might encourage you:

  2. Hi Sarah. I actually know exactly how you feel. I haven't made any significant progress on ANY story since I finished my first book a year or so ago. The problem is that I keep coming up with new ideas! I'll try to focus on one idea, jot down a few ideas, figure out a couple/few characters, start my outline...and then get distracted by a new idea that's really exciting. I don't know if this is a result of or manifestation of some secret fear, but it's still frustrating beyond measure! I hope you figure something out soon!

  3. so you noticed my spy vans? damnit. NEW TACTIC NECESSARY.

    my motto is that if YOU can love the story (and we are, after all, our own worst enemies & critics), then it's possible for someone else. maybe not an agent, maybe not an editor--maybe an agent but not an editor, maybe an editor but not an agent, etc., etc. but if you don't query, that possibility isn't actually there. not querying isn't even giving yourself the chance.

    at the same time, I haven't queried once, and I am really scared that maybe I DON'T have what it takes after all this time, you know? but I'm so excited that it IS the one that I'm not going to let fear bother me. I'd rather be excited than scared ;)

  4. Thanks for the support, guys! :)

  5. I think you'll kill and rise above these emotions soon enough. I can see it percolating through you in this post!

  6. You can do it!!! I think having a bunch of rabid critique partners can help prepare you for querying, actually. Make sure your ms has been through the wringer of critters, and maybe that'll get your confidence up. Also...start on your new project and fall in love with it. Then maybe you won't be so tied to the first one's fate. ;o)

  7. Don't give up. You have this really cool story and you are so close. Think of how many people never get past the first draft or they start to revise the first draft and quit but you are so much farther than that. You can do this. Also it is totally normal to take as much time as you need.
    Sometimes when you push to get something finished and then you get feedback it takes a little while to consider and think about before tackling the next revision.
    Also being afraid of success, failure, rejection, whatever is totally normal. Just like being nervous before the first performance of a show.

  8. I understand totally. I held onto my book for much longer than I should have, because so long as I didn't send it out, I couldn't be rejected. It's scary putting it out there.

    When you're ready, you'll do what needs to be done. And if you need someone to hold your hand when you finally jump, let me know! :)

  9. Or, maybe, the prospect of the amount of work the whole querying process is is just daunting. And it is. If you think writing the book is harder... well, that is hard, but everything that comes after is even harder. And it doesn't actually matter how good it is. It can be the best thing ever written and get rejected out of hand time and again.

    The real thing, now that you're here, is to figure out what you want out of having written. What you really want. Once you do that, you can figure out if seeking traditional publishing is actually worthwhile. Maybe self-publishing is the right path. But you have to know what you want out of all of it first.