As I write this post, I am a few days away from the release of my first published novel, Bluesday.
I’m sure all of you authors know exactly how I’m feeling right now. Churning within me is a mixture of excitement and raw, gripping fear. Excitement because what I have worked so long and hard towards is finally coming to fruition.
I will soon be able to attach the word “author” to my name, a title that will stand alongside many others, including mother, friend, nurse, and Christian.
I am ecstatic about the prospects that the future holds. I am elated that I get to share my gift with the world, and I am stoked about having followed through with my plans despite my fears. I am glad to be able to say that I didn’t allow fear to conquer me. I’ve fought through it, ignored it, and sometimes, just plain stepped over it to get to this place.
Nevertheless, there is still fear.
Actually, fear is ever present. Fear of looking like a fool. Or, fear of being an embarrassing failure.
Yes, the fear of failure. That has been my biggest obstacle. It has held me back for so long and robbed me of happiness and fulfillment time and time again. It is not an unfounded or illogical fear, though.
There are several factors that feed into that fear and rightfully so. Number one, I am self-publishing my book, which in and of itself screams failure. The odds are against me for success. Of this I am well aware. Add to that the fact that in the African American book market, erotica and street lit are booming genres. My book fits in neither category. It doesn’t even fit into the Christian Fiction category, although I do consider it an inspirational drama.
Like any other author, I believe that my book is good. Why else would I be publishing it? But the thoughts that hang in the back of my mind are: Will anyone like it? Will anyone buy it? God, I hope so. I believe success in my future. God, I hope I’m right. Wouldn’t it be awful if I was wrong?
It is like this often with changes, good or bad: the fear of the unknown and maybe even, the fear of the known.
The fear of both failure and success. The realization that either way, much will be required of me. Either I’ll have to crank out more good work, or work hard at releasing something better in hopes of catching someone’s, anyone’s attention. It is an awful feeling, this fear. I hate it, but I just can’t seem to shake it. It looms behind me like a shadow. It’s like an old skeleton from my past that pops up at any given inopportune moment. Yes, I despise fear.
So, this is my journey as a novice writer. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I can’t. Even when the fear is at its greatest, I push on. God willing, I will push on to success.
Do you have fears around publishing? How do you handle them?
Category: Contemporary Women Writers