A Writer’s Self Doubt

My niece helping out with my book
My niece helping out with my book

I’m a good writer. I decided to publish my book and I’m happy it’s out there in the world. I’ve discussed my feelings about critics and bad reviews. Letting go of self-doubt is a writer’s daily struggle no matter who you are. After three edits and 8,000 words cut, I’m done with The Esau Emergence. It’s good. I’ve heard from terrific readers, like you, who liked the book, loved the book and can’t wait for the next book. Grazie, a mille grazie! Handing over the book…that’s still a struggle.

In L.A. last weekend for a family thing, I gave my uncle a book. This is always terrifying. I sent copies to my extended family and don’t dare to ask if they’ve read it. What if they hate it? The truth of the matter is that most of them haven’t even cracked it open. Reading takes time and busy folk don’t have time. It’s better for everyone involved if I leave the question unasked. On occasion, it pops out. It just escapes me, “Have you read the book yet?” That’s what happened with my uncle. His response, “No, I’ve meant to get a copy.” I don’t know what possessed me, but I handed him one of the two copies I always carry for just such an event. People, usually, pay me for them, but hey, he’s my uncle.

Okay, I didn’t hand it to him. I tossed it to him. I may have, sort of, thrown it at him. In fairness, I did sign it. I realized later that I had been throwing my book at almost everyone. Not random everyones, just folks that I know. People who purchase a book from me can tell you, I didn’t hurl the book at their head. My colleague, Rich Keller, mentioned he was going to read my book. I tossed him a copy. My friends, Sarah and Chad, reminded me they didn’t have a copy. I slid it across the table. I’m sure there’s a scene in a movie with one character clinging desperately to a book while the other character pries it out. That’s why I toss them.

My id is circumventing my ego. I have no problem selling my book or talking about my writing career. I’m inspired to be living my dream with the support of wonderful people like most of you (Wurst is still on my list ;)) The book is getting more good reviews than not. Chad, not a passionate reader, said, “I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it might be a romance or chick lit, but WHAM, I was in the middle of a military assault in Afghanistan. I love it!” That’s high praise.

My grandmother at least started the book.

I’m not a big Hemingway fan, but he did crystallize the writing process. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” To continue down that road, to offer your blood to others, well, it’s ghastly. I have more deeply personal stories waiting for their moment, but everything I write contains a glimpse into my spirit. It’s a gift of sorts and wow, there is no receipt for returns.

I hope by the time I’m done with the third book in the Esau Continuum, I’ll be at peace with the process. I’ve counted. Currently, I have six novels in the works and two of those are likely to be more than one book.

Does Stephen King get the willies when he releases a new book?