I am about to admit something that I am not sure that I should admit. Here it is: I am afraid.
In “On Letting Go”–now Part I–I wrote a little about trying to figure out the moment when it was time to let go of my creation and send it out into the world. Part of the obstacle to ever truly embracing that moment is, I think, the fear about how this novel, which I have put so much of myself into, will do out there in the big, wide, and often harsh world. I want, so much, for the people who read my book to love it and my characters and my story like I do. Consequently, I am really afraid that some won’t. That fear is getting a little stronger as the release date approaches.
So at the same time that I am working on the next novel in the series (and by the way, that is going really well), I am struggling a little bit with this fear that has taken up residence in my stomach. I am telling myself that it is absolutely amazing that I even have this opportunity. I am reminding myself that this is a dream come true and that, ultimately, what matters is that my story will be out there. I am repeating the phrase, “You can’t please all the people all the time.”
I have been listening a lot recently to Eminem’s Not Afraid (I tweeted the other day that this has become an anthem of mine). A couple of lines specifically are speaking volumes to me. “When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I don’t give a [darn] what you think, I’m doing this for me….I’m going to be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtedly.” These lines are reminding me that I can’t focus on the negatives that might come during this process. I have to always focus on the fact that I am living my dream right now and that I am able to do what I have always wanted to do.
So, I am going to keep listening to Eminem 🙂 and reminding myself of my good fortune rather than focusing on the uncertain future.
For the writers out there, am I alone? Is this a familiar fear? What are your strategies for fighting it off?