Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday, I’m sure you were all sniffling because you weren’t able to read one of my witty posts. I’m going to make up for that today.
There are a lot of things people don’t tell you when you dream of becoming a writer. Of course, most of the people you run into in your day-to-day life have no idea what it’s like. They have ridiculous expectations that you’ll quit your day job and live a life of ease after your first book comes out and Hollywood studios are clamoring to put your writing on the big screen.
But the writers who’ve been in the business a while can give you some realistic information. No, chances are your books will never see the silver screen are slim. You’ll need to keep your day job for a very long time and let’s not forget about insurance!
Those are things you tend to learn along the way, but one thing I’ve discovered is that writing, or the fears of failure, never go away. I haven’t been in this crazy business for very long, but I do have four books out and have had some good reviews. This doesn’t make me an expert, but here are some things I’ve learned:
1. You can become obsessive about sales and reviews to the point of dreaming about them. I think I’ve mentioned before that I had a dream that a reviewer sent me a horrible e-mail saying the book they reviewed was so bad, so God-awful, they couldn’t even post the review and then proceeded to berate me because I shouldn’t have been published anyway. Why did I dream this? Because I was waiting for a review to come in and hadn’t heard anything for quite some time. Ick! This still kind of gets me every time I have a new release.
2. No matter how long you’ve been working with your critique partners, when you try something new you’re still going to be scared at their critiques. Recently, I’ve branched out into a different sub-genre and although I enjoyed writing it, I was uneasy about how they would take it. I mean, these are ladies who’ve read my Veil books, but this new series isn’t quite like them. So of course I had a dream about it. I dreamed my critique partner (not the ones I have, but some ambiguous figure with a sharp tongue) lashed me good for my use of quotation marks. I’m not sure what that means, to be honest. I think it was placement? Left quotations to start dialogue? I don’t know, but it was enough to leave me slightly panicked.
3. Just when you think you’ve conquered your fears, another one crops up. Even though you’ve done the scary thing and landed an agent, that doesn’t mean things are peachy-keen afterwards. Oh no. It’s actually a little worse because now you have someone—a professional—who’s waiting for your work.
Please note, this has nothing negative to do with my agent who is a complete sweetheart. These are my personal fears and trust me, they’re many. I want to keep her happy and hopefully make us both some money, so I try harder which only makes my muse dig in her heels. She’s a stubborn piece of work, you know. She’d much rather flit around dropping story ideas that have nothing to do with what I need to work on which then leaves me feeling guilty. And people, no one does guilt quite like Catholics.
I want to go to confession and pour my heart (and fears) out to some poor priest who will no doubt look at the screen between us in complete shock as I talk about my BDSM reindeer and the contemporary BDSM I want to write.
Yeah, see? It doesn’t really end. But don’t be discouraged. There are a lot of positives to writing and I’ll discuss those next week.
What’s your writing nightmare?