Just another wannabe author…

Coming Down from the High

This is my very first post NaNo entry.  And it’s very strange.

I finished my personal goal, I finished the novel.  I haven’t experienced the rush or elation of finishing such a huge accomplishment.  Instead, I feel like an empty husk.  At first, I thought it might be burn out, but that’s not it at all.  I want to write, I want to create, my creative reservoir is full and ready to spill onto the page.  I even have projects that I’m gearing up to work on.

The rush of success is just completely missing, though.  Maybe I expected too much.  Finishing a novel’s first draft isn’t really finishing at all.  Instead, it’s a beginning.  It is part of a journey that takes far more than just a single month to complete.  I have rounds of editing and rewriting, then beta readers to pester before more revisions happen.  All that, just to get to a finished draft that then must be sent to agent after agent, hoping against hope that one of them reads it and actually likes it enough to represent me.

You see, I want to be one of the .001%.  I don’t want to be a writer.  I want to be an author.  Being an author is work, and it’s a long drawn out process filled with false hope and rejection.  Even after my first novel is sold, that is no guarantee they will want the next one.  Or the one after that.  Each novel I write is a crap shoot.

The worst part?  All my hopes and dreams don’t rest on the novel.  No, they rest on a query letter.  That terrifies me.  Completely.

I sometimes wonder if self publishing might be a better way to go for my first novels.  It seems like a cop out, giving up before the bell has even rung.  Am I the next J.K. Rowling?  Who knows.  Maybe I will be as beloved as the late Anne McCaffery… or maybe I will be nothing, but a slush pile reject.  I can only hope for something in between.

For now, I will focus on writing.  I have stories to finish and novels to polish, not to mention a major rewrite that I am just starting on, including the planning for it.  Ask me later if I still want to be an author.  Hopefully my answer stays the same.

Any aspiring authors out there terrified of not being good enough?  I know I am.  Share your own fears in the comments section.


Comments on: "Coming Down from the High" (2)

  1. Hey, I have a theory as to why you don’t feel successful from finishing your novel! Maybe the ending doesn’t feel like an ending to you. Maybe it hasn’t even hit you yet! Anyways, I think my greatest fears in terms of my writing is really not being good enough. Actually, I think it’s more about the disbelief of being good enough that scares me. My parents are pretty unsure about whether or not my liberal arts education will actually get me a decent job, but I guess they don’t realize that if it did, like an engineer, I wouldn’t be happy. So my fear is really succumbing to that disbelief in myself and never trying! Even if you get rejected, at least you tried! Besides, you can always try again!

    • Shira Windschitl said:

      Ah, self doubt, the killer of art everywhere. We are all our own worst critics, the trick is to ignore that little voice that says we aren’t good enough. That doesn’t mean stop learning and improving your writing or art, it just means it’s probably not as bad as you think it is. It helps to take a step back from your work, take time to let it sit before giving it another look. You can be more objective then.

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