The hardest part of writing, for me, is dealing with a recurring crushing lack of confidence. You'd think that I've been here enough times before, I could just get over it. It shakes me every time.
See, whenever something good happens -- something sells, gets nominated for a prize, receives a good review -- I always attribute that to luck. I'm lucky that day. Whenever something bad happens -- losing an award, getting a rejection, not hearing any response -- I take responsibility. It's my fault because I'm not good enough or didn't work hard enough or lobby the right people at the right time. Success is attributable to someone else, but failure is all mine.
Now, with the publishing industry teetering all around me, I'm finishing a novel. It's passed the first hurdle already: my agent liked it enough to ask for some changes. If I make those changes to her satisfaction, she'll handle the book for me.
I know that's not a given thing, since she rejected my last nove. I'm aware though that she could reject this one: because it's not what she wanted, because she just sold something like it -- or had trouble selling something like it, because nobody's buying space opera now, or nobody's buying anything.
I have to finish the book. I'm so close that I can't give up now. And I have to finish it in the next five days, because after that, I'll be a full-time mom until school starts. The clock is ticking.
But I'm scared. What if I jam on this book this week and my agent doesn't want it? What if she takes it but nobody buys it? What if I'm wasting my time, fooling myself that anyone wants to read my fiction at novel length? What if the book isn't good enough to overcome the economy and the death of chain bookstores? What if I'm not good enough?
I've watched other friends get a good book deal for their first books, then struggle to sell their second books. I thought I was prepared for the struggle.
Writing is easy. Stringing words together is easy. Being a writer is hard.
It's time to get to work.
Causes Loren Rhoads Supports