Insecurities, I’ve had a few.
My foray into full-time fiction writing hasn’t even started yet (it begins this month!) and I’m already terrified.
I’m preparing for the launch of two major novels on May 16th, and the stakes seem so incredibly high. Suddenly I have a publicity team. A cover artist. A formatter. And everyone needs input from me in order to do their part.
Ever have one of those moments where you try to knock just one thing off your to-do list, only to discover ten more things you hadn’t thought of? That’s how the last few weeks have been for me. The learning curve is incredibly steep, and it’s more than a little daunting.
And, all along the way, the Insidious Anti-Muse whispers in my ear.
“What if no one reads your books?”
“What if this is as good as it gets? What if you fail?”
What if, what if, what if.
And those are some mighty big ifs.
It’s odd that my most crushing insecurities arise when one of my books gets published, but the same thing happened with my Bear. I don’t know if it’s the tendency to constantly check my Amazon rankings or what, but the release of Monsters in Our Wake has inspired moments of pure terror, and not because it’s a scary book. The Insidious Anti-Muse became more vocal, more insistent, more difficult to ignore.
As writers, we’re advised not to write to get published. Not to care what others think. To write for ourselves and only ourselves, simply because we love it. In that case, I’d keep my manuscripts in a box under my bed. I send my books out on submission because I love writing fiction enough to want it to be my day job. Connecting with readers and knowing that I’ve written a book that means something to people is important to me.
So I try to focus on the readers, the small handful of people who’ve taken the time to let me know my writing has meant something to them. I’m still so full of gratitude and awe that anyone is willing to trade their time and money for one of my tales.
It’s a scary world out there, and this has got to be one of the most insecurity-inducing industries. It’s not easy to focus on the small steps we’ve made up the mountain when the peak is so high above us it’s obscured by clouds.
I wish I had some great words of wisdom to pass on, some sure-fire cure for the times that Insidious Anti-Muse is screaming in your ear.
All I’ve got is this: as terrifying as the possibility of failing is, it’s still far more frightening to never try at all.
What do you do to banish the Insidious Anti-Muse? I’d love to hear how you push on despite your insecurities.
If you’re on Pinterest, would you take a minute to share my pin for Monsters? It would mean a lot to me.
The purpose of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.