Have you ever wondered, will they really like it? What if there’s a mistake the editor didn’t catch? What if it’s just boring to someone else?
Welcome to the world of writing. A world in which we pour out our heart and soul only to have it, edited, re-edited and then scrutinized by the general public. Some of whom, are destined to hate it. If you’re a novelist it’s likely you will even receive a critical review from someone whose never penned a novel in their life. I have that to look forward to.
In the process of creating this novel, Path of the Warrior, I’ve had to overcome various forms of fear. Here are some methods I use to help me.
1) Recognizing that I’ve published through an indie publisher. They might not be on the scale of Penguin books, but they still believe in my work. It’s not just me, there are others out there supporting me. I know if you’ve published your work entirely independently then this isn’t something you can lean on. But it is something I lean on.
2) My beta readers liked it. Some had suggestions for improving, but none of them said it was bad. Draw on that for strength. Write down or save what they said so you can go back to it when you need one of those pick me ups.
3) My editor liked it. Despite all the red lines and comments he liked it. Just to be clear, I had 600 edits per chapter. Now, my chapters are pretty long but still, that’s 600 errors to my mind. He liked it. Make sure you have an editor who tells you the truth and then save his/her comments as well!
4) Not everyone will like my work. At some point I’ll find someone who thinks it’s too slow, or there’s too much dialogue, or explaining, or description. I’ve come to accept that will happen. It’s okay, I wrote this novel primarily for me. I wanted a novel and a story I believed in. I do.
5) I believe in it. That’s the thing that matters most. I believe in it. Remember that, write it down if you have to – but believe in it. Even if there are errors, believe in what you’ve written. If you don’t, why should anyone else?
Fear. It’s with us every step of the way, but it’s worth fighting against. By May 15th I will have accomplished a dream. If you can say that, good. It doesn’t mean I won’t improve next time. It doesn’t mean I didn’t make mistakes. But it does mean I overcame fear. I put my work out there, and now I’m living a dream. Why don’t you live your dream too?