After asking for beta readers, I exported my story to a Word Document and gave it a quick cursory glance. Then I sent off the story by email to a few hardy souls that volunteered to look it over and give me feedback.
Last night, I kept waking up with the nightmare that when exporting the document, it completely messed it up by jumbling words, sentences and even whole paragraphs. I also had nightmares that it would be a complete dud.
I know, this is mostly due to my own anxiety and insecurities. I’ve been working on this story since last November. It has become my baby. Setting it loose into the scary world is frightening.
I know I’ve come a long way in getting over my writing fears, but sometimes the pesky fears raise their ugly heads once again. Instead of crippling me, I know that these fears will come and go. I acknowledge the fears and then let them go. Onward and upward. I’m still on track to get my memoir published.
Next challenge is to learn how to write a book blurb.
It’s been an up and down type of week. Between the doctor visits and doing serious revising and editing for the first time, I’m not sure if my progress was good or not. After this last year with all the appointments I’ve had, I think I’m developing anxiety right before I see a doctor. Inner thoughts run through my head the night before projecting every worst case scenario I can imagine. Considering I’m a writer that comes up with stories, I can think of a considerable amount of bad outcomes. And waiting on test results? Don’t get me started.
Of course, this means my regular writing suffers. Astute readers will have noticed I didn’t post the Weekly Writing Challenge yesterday. The prompt at first glance seemed to be an easy one, but I’ve been having a difficult time with it. I’ve started four different stories and abandoned each of them after only one paragraph. I’ll keep trying today. At the very least, I’ll post a series of one paragraph stories based on the prompt if I can’t find something to settle on. Then again, they are all dreck, so that may not be a good idea. The Bowl of Doom may have finally got the best of me this week. We’ll see.
As a writer, this is a real thing. It has held me back from submitting my work. It has held me back from even creating this blog.
I like what I create, my family likes it too, but will the world like it? That’s what holds me back. What if it isn’t that good? What if nobody likes it? Does that mean I’m worthless as a writer? These are real insecurities I have faced and continually face every time I think about putting my work out there.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
After letting my fear of rejection rule over me for 30+ years, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can overcome it. Having cancer has given me the freedom. If I don’t beat cancer, then it really doesn’t matter if the world likes my writing. I don’t have to depend on writing to provide for my family. It sure would be nice to write a book or two that can leave my family with some security, but I don’t have high hopes for that.
Upon reflection, I realize that I’ve had fear of rejection from an early age. It has stopped me from pursuing interests and dreams. Because of this, I’ve gone through many hardships both in my professional career and personal life. I’ve had many regrets over the years, but I can’t and won’t dwell on them. What I can do is draw upon my life experiences and tell stories that not only interest the world, but perhaps maybe even inform and teach.
Today my story The Painting was published on Writers Unite!. From the time I submitted it till it was published and even after until I saw comments on it, I was on pins and needles. My fear of rejection was almost overpowering.
From that little story that took less than an hour to create, I have built a bit of confidence to continue on with writing and more importantly to submit my writing good or bad to the world. At some point, I hope to develop a shield against the fear of rejection. The only way to do that is to bulldoze right through that fear again and again.
The main reason I’ve been doing this blog is to partly journal my experiences with cancer but also to journal my writing experiences. I could do this offline and in private, but by putting it out to the world is just another weapon to flatten my fear of rejection.
Currently in the works, I have two short stories to edit and submit. This time the stakes are higher as they are to paying publications. More than likely I will get rejection letters but at this point, what do I have to lose?