Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/26/09

Writing is Scary

Most of my work days are spent in my house, in the workplace I shared with you last week. Nothing scary about that, right? Um, wrong. There are so many scary things about writing once you've become a published author. The first fear about writing a novel? Looking at the blank computer screen and wondering: Can I come up with 50,000 words? There is no way around it but just to write and write.
Then comes the biggest fear is: Is this any good? There is never an easy answer there, or any way to know that until I've sent it to a reader or my editor. Scary.
Once that fear has been dealt with, and we've determined that yes, this story is pretty good, the next fear is Will the review be any good? Waiting to see the first reviews is so stressful, because they can determine so much, like will libraries buy the book, etc. ( Although, I must say, I don't base either my movie-going or book-reading on reviews I see. If I want to see a movie or read a book, I'll do it.) And then, when the book is out, is reviewed well, gets some cool honors and makes a couple nifty lists, another fear creeps into my world.
Will I ever sell another book? This one has been going on for a while with me. It has been a couple years since I got my two book deal for The Compound and the second book of the deal The Gardener is out in ARCs now, so essentially it's done. I was soooooooo relieved to have that fear abated this week when my editor at Feiwel and Friends acquired my next novel The Raft in a two book deal.
Which means it is about time to look at that blank computer screen and start the fear cycle all over again...........

4 comments:

Christy said...

Even though writing seems so solitary, finding ways to make it collaborative may help alleviate some of your fears. You have a community of readers (family and critique groups) who will listen to you bounce off ideas and give you responses as you write. I know you have a editor who believes in you and acts as your safety net. Of course none of this is news to you. Sometimes I have to calm my own emotions and fears with the facts. I'm so excited for you! A two-book contract is a big vote of confidence.

Stephanie said...

Oh yeah, all those help. And it's not like I shake in fear all the time, it's more like these insidious things that creep into my imagination, which is just way too rich sometimes.

Lauren said...

I think anytime an artist or writer finishes a project there is bound to be fear of never being able to do it again, even if there is family, friends, editors, etc. It is a very primal fear.

Edie said...

It's amazing how many writers share these same fears!