And this Wednesday it’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
A lot of times, when I’ve prepared blog posts to join in with the IWSG, I’ve not felt particularly insecure, and have had to reach for things to say. However, that’s because I wasn’t a published author, I didn’t have manuscripts or stories circulating publishers, I wasn’t trying to land an agent. I was immured from those crushing realities that deal death blows to other writers competing for the public eye. I was happily plodding away in my spare time on the same manuscript I’ve been working on since 2005. In my own mind, the process could easily take another ten years.
Then, my mother died, and something changed inside. I guess in a nutshell you could say I came face-to-face with my own mortality. I realized because my mother (who always seemed like an unstoppable battleship) had moved on into the hereafter, that what they say is true: life is short, and there’s no time to waste! I swiftly moved from complacent to desperate! I needed to cross the finish line with this book and by doing so, poke mortality in the eye with a big stick.
I went ahead and hired an editor. The wonderful Carol J. Amato, of Stargazer Publishing proofread the manuscript and sent it back to me this week. Wow. In all the years of working on this story, I’ve never dared print it out because the flipping thing was too big. It used to be all of 100,000 words long. I had charged through it with a scythe and slashed over 30,000 words however, I still had never seen it in paper form. It was gorgeous!
At first, I was overcome with joy. Tears. Laughter. Excitement.
The word ‘shrine’ comes from the Latin scrinium meaning ‘chest for books’. I was very tempted, I admit, to build a shrine to my story right there on my kitchen counter.
Yet, reality demanded that I move on from giddy dreams of holding my own book in my hand, and get back to making it happen.
Today, I have a meeting with a local publisher called Book Print. We’re going to discuss designs for the cover and the prospect of a small print run.
Finally, I cast my gaze ahead and see the next hurdle I need to cross. Marketing. Promotion. Things I’ve blogged about and talked about a lot in the past. Only now, I actually have to come up with an action plan and slog it out with the rest of the millions of other authors out there trying to outsmart everyone else to get to the top of the bestselling lists.
What do I feel now? Fear. Utter, fallible, gullible, vulnerable fear. Have I slogged away for the last ten years for only friends and family to read my work? Will even those precious few literally read my book? Will they like it? Will anyone like it? The insecurities mount into a veritable Everest. Someone help! Rescue parties may be needed.
What about you? Have you made any changes and then felt afraid? Are you insecure about your artistic efforts? Do you need a rescue party too? If so, send your coordinates!
Talk to you next time!
Yvette K. Carol
‘The only way to learn is to take risks, make mistakes. Go out, make a mistake. Have the guts to fail. Talk about it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.’ ~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver