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Road to Writing
When I first started, I thought all you had to do is write a book. Can you say *naive*, boys and girls? Join me on my journey as a pre- published writer looking to see my name on the cover of a book. I'll talk about all the bumps, bruises, joys and frustrations I encounter along the way.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Is FEAR!

Okay. Now that I got yesterday’s rant out of my system, I’m feeling better. I figured after that, today’s entry should be something a little more lighthearted. So, I think I’ll talk about: Fear.

What? Did you think it was going to be about peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches? (Shoot. Now I’m hungry.) My son stayed home from school today after spending half the night vomiting. Believe me, fear is as lighthearted as I’m gonna get.

Anyway, fear. It’s been the subject of a few blogs lately, Silma and Sheri immediately spring to mind. Looks like I’m jumping on that blog-wagon.

I can’t say that my fears are unusual. Matter of fact, after reading other blog entries, I’d say they’re pretty common. Normal, even. My biggest fear as far as writing goes is very simple. I’m not good enough.

That’s not to say I think I suck as a writer. I know I don’t suck. If I did, I think any one of my three wonderful CPs would have long ago said, “Hey, Lynn? I think they’re hiring down at the mall food court.” But they haven’t, so I think it’s safe for me to say I don’t suck without sounding conceited.

Even so, I still can’t shake that little voice whispering in the back of my mind.

I’m not good enough.

It’s a self-esteem issue, I know that. And it’s not specific to my writing. A lifetime ago, I used to hang around with a bunch of musicians. On a pretty regular basis, they’d ask me to come do a song with them. I’d shake my head so vehemently that I’m certain part of my problem today is something shook loose and is rattling around. Hm. Could be the cause of that voice?

I’m not good enough.

Call it what you want: lack of self-esteem or self-confidence, stage fright, whatever. In my case, it’s all the same. Whenever I’ve sent something to my CPs or my new RD Bootcamp mentor Lisa, that nagging little voice starts to sound like the mother in Stephen King’s “Carrie”: They’re all gonna laugh at you.

For the bootcamp, we had to fill out a form that lists what we feel are our strengths and weaknesses, and what we’d like to get out of it. When I asked my CPs what they saw as my weaknesses, one said: You worry too much, imo, and it seems to slow the creative flow at times.

Yup. That’s me.

That said, the big question is how do I overcome this fear? How do I get past it? I certainly don’t have the answers, and if anybody does, please feel free to share. I might even pay you.

All I can do is keep trying. Keep pushing myself. Get the synopsis for IH done and start submitting. Finish writing BMO and SR and get those submitted, too. Write more. Submit more. Work through the fears and deal with the disappointments as they come instead of planning or expecting them.

Do I think that’ll solve my problem? Overcome my fears? Um...no. But it might help to make them easier to deal with and a little less bothersome.

3 Comments:

  • Oh, gosh--I wish I could help, but I go through the same things. Fortunately, it happens in cycles, and eventually it goes away.

    One of the things I do when I'm thinking I suck or that I'm not good enough to make it is to read something really crappy. Seriously. Go get yourself a really horrid published novel...and you'll quickly realize that you can do better! :)

    (((hugs)))

    By Blogger Larissa, at 10:07 AM  

  • Lynn, I think you should just accept that you are working hard, learning more and doing the best you can. Then accept the fact that no one has suggested you get a job at the Mall as the compliment that it is. Next, realize that you are enjoying writing and want to continue. Then grow a thicker skin so that when someone does criticize what you do, which most likely is inevitable (can't please everyone), you can shrug them off as the losers they are. Oops! I mean the people that just don't understand your writing. ;)

    By Blogger Yankeebob, at 9:18 AM  

  • You're both absolutely right -- thanks for the suggestions!

    Larissa, I actually do have an author I read just for that purpose, but I have to be really far gone to be able to stomach reading her. *g*.


    And you're right, too, Bob. My skin actually has thickened during the journey, but I guess, as with everything, sometimes that fear has to creep in. But the silver lining is it's that fear that keeps me working. That makes me want to prove myself, even if it's only to me.

    By Blogger Lynn, at 2:56 PM  

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Location: Atlanta-ish, Georgia, United States

I'm a wife, a mom, an operating room nurse, a writer, a hobby photographer, and a music lover who knits and crochets. And I'm fairly certain I've lost my mind.

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