Sunday, October 31, 2010

Facing Our Fears

Happy Halloween, readers!

'Tis the season for carving pumpkins, eating massive amounts of candy, an scary each other silly. In keeping with this particular holiday spirit, I thought I'd write a little bit about my fears.

Does anyone else experience any crippling, soul-crushing fears about their writing? I'm sure the answer is "yes." After all, we are creative people. We have vivid imaginations. And this is a good thing... usually. But when it comes to our innermost fears? Not so much.

I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm not afraid of failure with my writing. Nope. I'm afraid of success. It might sound weird, but I know I'm not alone in this. I'm afraid that if I finish one book, I'll never have another good idea. I'm afraid that it will get published... but that no one will buy it. I'm afraid that I'll blow a book contract because I can't discipline myself to write on a schedule. I'm afraid that writing will become my full-time job... and then I won't love it anymore. I'm afraid that I'll spend my writing time missing teaching. I'm afraid that I won't have health insurance anymore. I'm afraid that my income will lessen. I'm afraid that I'll be a mid-lister forever. I'm afraid that I won't be very good at being a novelist. I'm afraid that I'll become a New York Times bestseller, but then I'll try to take my career in another direction and my fans will hate me. I'm afraid I'll be sued by ex-boyfriends and ex-bosses I put in to books. I'm afraid that I'll never be able to get what's in my head out onto the page (it never quite translates, does it?) I'm afraid that my books will never be made into movies. I'm afraid Hollywood will make terrible movie versions of my books. I'm afraid that I've been inadvertently cruel and/or unprofessional, and hideous stories about my evildoing will come to light as soon as I'm published.

Weird and stupid, I know (because, really, I should be so lucky). But there it is.

Does anyone else have extreme writing fears? What are they? How do you get over them and/or push through them?


Alyssa Goodnight said...

Yikes! I have a few of those, but you've really got a lot! I hope you crush them under your heel and conquer! :)

Anna Richland said...

Many of the same, Kate, many of the same. That's why starting the query process was such a big deal for me - that was my first big fear to overcome, the fear that someone would actually WANT to read my book. I've found that every fear conquered leads to a new one (the fear that someone will want to read THE WHOLE THING comes after you overcome the initial query fear). May we both someday fear "that our next book won't make The List"!