Fear is an interesting thing. It can make you do a lot of different things depending on the situation and who you are as a person. Fear motivates people in ways other people never expect. There's a lot of different things for different people to fear at different times. It's a complex emotion (hey, what isn't?) and as a writer I've explored it. I've studied fear in my characters and of course, I've studied it in myself.
For those of you reading this that follow my Twitter account,you'll notice that for the past two days I haven't been writing. For those of you who have no idea who I am: that's REALLY weird for me. Well, unless I've finished a project or National Novel Writing Month is over. I've not finished a project and NaNo isn't until November.
So, why did I stop writing? Am I suffering from writer's block? I don't believe in writer's block. Am I having problems with my Inner Editor? My Inner Editor is my Muse and we rarely have issues. Am I stuck in my current plot? Not really. So, again, why did I stop writing?
That's right. I'm afraid. Of what? Well, a lot of things. I'm afraid of midnight, mirrors after midnight, oh, right, writing. Sorry. I'm afraid of rejection. I'm afraid of not being good enough. I'm scared to SHIT of what I'm planning to do next month so I'm procrastinating this month.
What is it that's making me so afraid?
Well, you see, I've been an official self-published author since March 2010. Yeah, four years. I've not even come close to seeing my return on anything. I actually hate the only novel I have available right now and all my anthologies are unedited.
I'm also working as essentially an unpaid intern and have been for about the same amount of time as I've been self-published. For clarification: I've not had a paycheck in over four years. I've been surviving off lines of credit, credit cards, and inheritance. Not fun, I'll tell you that much.
What does that have to do with my fear of what's going to happen next month? Simple. At the beginning of this year I made it one of my goals to publish something. Next month, I'm going to start the beginning phases of completing that goal.
My plan is to start some kind of funding campaign (kickstarter, gofundme, gofundle, pick one dang it) and raise enough funds to edit, get a cover (if I can't make a decent one) and promote Burnt: The Story of the Fire King which is this month's novel.
If the campaign is successful (I'm planning to run it until December) then I'll have a published novel I'm proud about out into the world by early next year, depending on editing. If I use the 2K or so I hope to keep for promoting then I'll actually be able to get it into reader's hands and possibly make enough to at least pay some of my bills.
So what's the problem? Again, I'm scared shitless. Why? Because I've done the editing shtick before. I've had editors tell me that my stuff is great but seeing all those comments and red lines makes me think I'm not good enough. I see it as a kind of rejection, that I've messed up so bad that I shouldn't even bother. Granted it is grammar, wrong words, and tighter sentence structure that is meant to help (and does) but I still can't seem to get past it. I'm not sure why.
I do know for sure that I don't like to leave a goal unfinished and I've had the publishing goal on my resolutions list for years now. It's about time I give it one more try. Again: that is scaring the crap out of me. I know that as soon as I start the funding campaign and especially if it succeeds: I'm going to have to deliver. I'm going to have to get the book edited and actually CORRECT the changes then move on. I've given myself a deadline of October 10.
That deadline means I'll have the funding campaign started and I'll be promoting it like nuts. I'm hoping I don't deliberately let it fail so I don't have to see someone's professional editing.
Hell, even letting a good Twitter friend read a short story freaked me the Hell out. She tells me I'm good enough. Others have told me in the past that I'm good enough.
I don't think I am. I'm afraid I'm not. I'm afraid of being made fun of and rejected. I'm afraid of negative reviews and people not liking my work, and by extension: me.
But, I intend to overcome that fear. I owe it not just to me but to my characters and to all the people who have believed in me all these years. And quite frankly: I need to do this. If I don't I'll end up living on the street, literally because there is only so long lines of credit and what not can hold out. I'm running out of time and damn it, I like my bed.
Fear can conquer you if you let it. I'm tired of letting it hold me back.
Until next time: comments, rants, rage, questions, and concerns can be directed to the comments.