Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fear ... and the writer

I was thinking this week about why it was that I hadn't completed my revisions yet. I mean, yes they would require some rearranging of my ms, but they're not major by any means. I should have finished by now, even with all the other stuff that's going on in my real life. I know I've been paralyzed by fear - fear that it will be off the mark, fear that I'll make it worse, fear that she'll hate it, fear that she won't give me another chance, fear that it'll result in a rejection. For writers and aspiring writers, you all know what I mean, right? Everything we do is facing and overcoming some form of fear. Forget about actually sending something we've bled and sweated off to an unknown editor or agent, just putting our words down on a page can be tough. I know all that and accept rejection as part of this journey and still I've been hesitating. Why? WHY? This morning it struck me. I'm also facing the fear of success. Yeah, success. You'll probably think I'm crazy, but what if she likes it, what if they offer to publish it? It's what I want, it's what I've been working towards, it's what I've been focused on, but it's a scary prospect because expectations will be built that I will have to live up to, and in reality, exceed from here on out. Do I really have what it takes? Can I really do it - not just this one, but the one after that, and the next and the next? Now, I feel like I understand my real fear. And these fears? All of them? They aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so I better deal with it and get on with it, because I do want to be a published author - bad.


  1. I used to have to force myself to let a manuscript or query drop into the mailbox. I still hesitate about six or seven times before I can make myself hit send. The truth is that I think writers are nutty! We stress about everything. ;)

  2. I forgot to say - good luck with your revisions. You can do it. In the words of Nike - (I've adopted their slogan as mine) - Just Do It!

  3. Have to say, sending the next submission off after a horrible R last year was almost impossible for me. I was so scared. And then actually opening up the email with the editors response... Awful. I'm still terrified about my writing but my desire to succeed at this is greater than my fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway! :-)

  4. Now say this fast three times:
    Facing fears forces you forward.

    Or I could steal your last words and say:
    Feel the fear and face the future.

    :) We need some sort of cyber chant to keep us going! You know I share your apprehensions about sending stuff off. Oh and Jax, opening emails! It's heart stopping to see an agent or editor's name there, isn't it? BUT, Kaily, I know that you're a great writer and an accomplished person who'll succeed at anything she tackles. So...kick your fear in the rear!

  5. oh Kaily, i think i know how you feel. i don't have revisions from an editor or anything but that is a huge thing.
    I'm sure you will be great. have faith in your self and just write your best! you will be great :) Go for it!!

  6. All I can say is take a deep breathe, or several and go for it. We all want to be published and you're a step closer. Good luck.


  7. Shelley - I swear I recently sent a query/partial to an agent and my hands were shaking after I hit send. I don't think it ever gets an easier. I've been taking your advice and just got into it. It's working.
    Jackie - I can't describe what it was like to see the email from the editor in my inbox. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. It was the same when the letter came from HQ (requesting my full). Of course, I didn't know that until I opened the letter. Glad I have a healthy heart!
    Rula - kick the fear in the rear! Love it! I've put it all aside and am justing working on it. Almost finished the revisions :).
    Kerrin - Thanks for your vote of confidence. I'm just leaping forward and what will be will be. I should listen to the advice I give my kids. All you can do is your best...
    Katie - Hi and thanks! Yes, I think we all have to keep that goal in mind and realize - yeah, the road's bumpy but if we keep at it we'll get there!!

  8. Hi Kaily,

    FEAR? Battles! Think "Warrior Woman" !! You win some, you lose some. A true warrior never gives up and looks to win, win, win the next fight. Never run from the challenge, and don't stop to think about your next move for too long!



  9. Kaily, we've talked about this a bit and I completely relate. Doing revisions is a scary thing...yes, there is a chance the editor won't like them, but the bigger chance is she will. Then what? Change, even good change, is damn scary. And once you're published, there's no going back. It's unsettling in some ways, especially since most of us have spent a lot more time on the unpublished side of the fence than we have published.

    I see from the comments you've finished most of the revisions already. That's excellent! Here's wishing you all the best...I'm very excited to be able to pick up a book with the name Kaily Hart on the cover. :)

  10. Hi Francine, yes I probably do tend to over think this part of things. The story I'm revising only took 7 days to write. I've been agonizing over some minor changes a lot longer than that! Warrior woman. I like it.

    Cari - thanks. Your ongoing and unwavering support is amazing. I think knowing once I'm published there's no going back IS scary. I mean, what if an editor agrees to publish my work, but it's still crap? It's out there then for everyone to see it. I do want to be published, but I only want to be published with a quality piece of work.

    Lady - thanks so much for stopping by, but I can't read your comments :(. I even tried to translate it programmatically, but no luck.

  11. Boy do I understand what you mean. There are always so many fears. But I think it's true, creative people in general are that way. Good luck on the rivisions and the submitting. You will be published soon!