"share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"I've been meaning to join the team, but committing to anything these days is hard with 2 kids under 3 years old. I set a reminder on my phone, so hopefully that will keep me on top of it :)
Today, I wanted to post about letting go of expectations. When I discovered my love of writing about six years ago, with the start of my CHILDREN OF THE GODS series, I had such a carefree attitude toward the process. It was fun to imagine, brainstorm, draft characters and build a story. It was like my adult version of playing Barbies or make-believe. My first novel became my favorite toy. I carried it with me everywhere, in my head, and actually quite literally on my laptop. I remember carrying my laptop into KFC with me to eat lunch with some friends...as if I'd have time to open it up and draft a chapter in the midst of conversation, lol. My ideas, my characters, my story were all so exciting to me that I almost couldn't think about anything else.
Do you remember that joy? Are you in it now? Has that first rush of passion for your story become something you're chasing now that writing has become your career?
For me, I lost that feeling once I entered the intimidating world of publishing. Publishing my work turned my love of writing into a need to prove myself. Queries, conferences, agents, publishers, deadlines, etc. filled me with a tremendous amount of anxiety. Once my book was out there, it didn't end. I needed to make sales, make connections, gain visibility.
There was SO much pressure.
After finding an agent. Finding a publisher. Becoming a Barnes & Noble best-seller, I've actually found the most joy in taking my rights back and venturing out on my own.
For some reason, freeing myself of my publisher's expectations freed me of MY expectations. Without realizing it, I had made it my job to make them look good. To prove that I was a good investment. I measured my success based on their level of satisfaction, which was normally based on my sales.
Then there was the added pressure of deadlines. You can imagine how this leeched away my joy of writing.
Now that I am self-publishing under the Acorn Publishing label, I allow myself to not care how many books I sell, what my reviews say, what my rank is, etc. And I'll finish my next book when I finish it...lol. It's a wonderful feeling to let go of my expectations and everyone else's for that matter.
I have a beautiful, loving family. They are the center of my world.
It feels great to finally be rid of the anxiety that plagued me for so long, so that I can focus my energy on them, and enjoy writing again, my way.
What writerly anxiety do you hope to overcome?