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As an Author, I Still Fear Publication

Whenever I start writing a book I always have that race of excitement that has me glued to the computer until I get my story told.

Of course, sometimes there are frustrating moments and sometimes there are infuriating moments, such as when I accidentally erase an entire word document and have to call my amazing boyfriend to save my 77,632 words from permanent erasure but on the whole, I live to write my stories.

However, the moment of dread for me is always in publication. This word-child that I have crafted for months and in one case years of time is now going into the hardest stage of its life and all I can do is sit back and watch.

What has me afraid?

One word.

Judgment.

I don’t consider a story complete unless I have given it every ounce of love and encouragement to grow as I can. I re-read each story dozens (if not hundreds) of times before I even hand them off to the next stage of a beta reader.

I don’t want to put something in their hands that they may not like.

As an author, you should always be editing your work before sending it off anywhere anyway, but I struggle with knowing when to put down the red pen.

Once that story is out there, it’s out there for good. Sure, as a self-publisher I can always pull my book from its listing, but those paperback copies. I can’t ever pull those back from the hands and minds of the reader.

What if they hate it?

What if it’s the worst book they’ve ever bought?

What if they can’t even finish the book and throw it into a fireplace where it burns into ash and they use those ashes to cast a curse on me for my crappy writing and bringing it into their home… Ok, that’s a bit extreme but ya know they could really hate it and give it a poor review.

How does this fear affect my writing?

The time it took me to write a novel before I was worried about every single reader was nothing compared to what it is now. I could outline, draft, and send off a novel for edits in just over a month. The process was simple.

Outline. Write. Edit. Publish. Repeat.

What is the process now?

Outline. Worry if the story is going to be engaging enough for readers to enjoy. Stress. Change outline. Stress. Write the first draft. Stress. Read and make notes. Stress. Edit. Stress. Change the ending. Stress. Change the beginning. Stress. Change the characters’ names. Stress. Change the ending back to the original. Stress. Change everyone’s hair color in case there were too many of one type. Panic. Publish. Repeat.

It’s very very stressful to think about what readers are going to think about your book before you’ve even started to write it and it makes the whole process… stressful.

Trying to please everyone is the worst thing a writer can try to do.

If a baker were trying to please everyone with their cupcakes it wouldn’t be possible without baking each person their own individual cupcake. Maybe a bakery can do that, but a writer can’t. The story is the story… take it or leave it.

How can I limit the impact of fear?

The stress from fear of judgment could not only kill my story but for me as well in the long run or at least make me shave my hair to save my poor roots being ripped out on a daily basis.

When thinking of my outline I need to remember that this is a story for me, if I’m excited about writing it then my readers will be excited about reading it. They wouldn’t have picked the book off of the shelf in the first place if they didn’t think it was something they were going to enjoy.

Reviews aren’t everything. Just because someone didn’t like the book enough that they had to give it a one-star rating on Amazon doesn’t mean there weren’t those who absolutely loved it, but didn’t take the time to review it.

(Please review the books you read! It really helps the authors self-esteem)

In conclusion, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hit that publish button without at least a mild bit of panic, it’s just who I’ve become.

I just can’t let it control every aspect of writing and get back to my roots of the simple steps.

Breathe. Write. Repeat.

That’s all there is to it.

Best and love

B.K

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Opinion Piece, Personal Narrative, Self-Help

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