Writer’s Anxiety: Is My Book Really Good?
I’m putting my new book out there. I’ve given copies to wonderful people who’ve supported me along the way. I’ve given copies to folks I met on the road (if they would send me their snail mail). I’m giving copies away to dear friends because that’s what you do. All of this time, each time I hand that book over, I experience a little hitch. A moment of doubt about the validity of my writing, the quality of my book and my decision to chuck it all to write full time grabs hold of my throat and chokes me for a minute. I have to force my fingers to release the book into the hands of folks.
This morning during my workout, I spent the entire time in silent conversation with myself about the book, the sequel and the other books I’m writing. Are they good? Are we (me and The Beard) making the write decision? Pun intended. Wow, this is scary territory! The mad joy I experience when I read my book and the affection I have for my characters run around in my head chased by the doubtful demons. The Oatmeal illustrator, Matthew Inman, beautifully illustrated this concept about running. The Blerch I feel this way about running AND about writing. That damn Blerch tromps around in my head while I’m writing, thinking about writing or talking about my writing.
The Beard and I attended NCW’s Wine and Words last weekend. Our fascinating conversation with another writer revealed a truth every writer knows….she asked, “How long has it taken you to tell people your a writer?” I laughed because I’d recently told someone I worked at home rather than say, “I’m a writer.” Writing connects to the very core of your identity. It’s not just a profession, so when I say, “I’m a writer” I feel exposed, revealing something about my private self to the outside audience. Yuck! I blazoned a trail on my Walkabout Book Tour, but those were folks I didn’t know. It was scary, and a risk, but it was less personal.
That being said; I’m a writer. I wrote a book. I’m writing a sequel. I’m writing other books. After this morning’s workout, I didn’t come to any resolution except that I’m a writer. I chose down. (wait for it!) The Beard and I have poured through the marketing books, talked to other authors and work our butt off. It’s what I do, who I am and exactly who I dreamt of being. Now, if I could get that Blerch to shut up!
It wasn’t until I was frantically making coffee that Son 1 said, “Oh yeah, R’s mom said to tell you she can’t put the book down. She loves it.” Take that Blerch!