The fatigue is heavy today. Just one of those days where it is difficult to keep the eyes open. These long, long days are starting to tell. Plus, for some reason, I’ve been having a rough time sleeping.
Today I also got hit with more panic and fear about the release of Tue-Rah Chronicles.
I know this struggle is not unique to me, so I’ll share what I would tell any other author and hopefully encourage you and perhaps myself. This will likely ramble.
All right. So you’re scared that people aren’t going to like your book? Yes. That’s true. A lot of people aren’t. But don’t let that upset you. You’re looking for your readers. Your tribe. The people who get what you want to talk about and share your passions.
As frightening as it is, putting yourself out there is part of the process. But let’s go through some of the positive what ifs, because you’re going down all the negatives.
Look at some of the terrible books that have been published. If you’re a reader, which you probably are, you’ve likely seen these. They don’t have good plots, good characters, good themes, or really much of anything. Some of them aren’t even entertaining for you, but they are for others. See, even bad stories can get followings and fans. So do you really think that your story is the only story out there that is going to be held to the standard of perfection?
Will you have haters or detractors? Probably. I’m sorry. But if you can let go of the fear that they are out there and just know that, yes, they are out there, maybe you can focus on the good things that will come. It’s not if. I’ve been there a lot of times, and it hurts. But knowing that these people weren’t among my readers helped because then it reminded me that, yes! I have readers out there.
And you do. You’re going to find them by being authentically you. If someone tells you that they hate your books or that they want your characters to die, know that this is just eliminating someone from your core readers, your target group, your tribe. You now know that this isn’t someone who belongs.
One of the challenges of course is that a lot of the positive readers and tribe members tend to be a little quieter. At least in my experience. So tying your validation to them is dangerous. Instead go back to why you are writing your stories (this isn’t to shame you, just to help you get rooted). Look at what you love about your stories even if it takes you awhile to figure that out. Take stock of everything that makes you want to write. And on this point, be as imaginative and grand or small as you like.
Put all of this into a list somewhere. Somewhere that you can see it. Add pictures if you want. And then remember that this is why you’re writing.
It’s going to get better. The fear doesn’t completely go away. But good things come. There’s also an intensely beautiful satisfaction of finishing a story. Starting a new one. So many good things are going to come to you.