Tuesday, 24 April 2012

U is for Upstart

I feel like an upstart, like I'm going to get found out at any moment. Upstart means suddenly thrust into a position of power or wealth from a humble position. I can't say I have any wealth, but suddenly I seem to have acquired some credibility with an agent etc. None of it seems real. Having spoken with my agent, I am sat surrounded by edits (mostly small) to do in a sensible, business-like manner, but I feel so overwhelmed with it all. What, me? You want me to edit this made up manuscript that I just wrote? So I printed out the pages and pretended they weren't mine.

Actually, those small edits are still quite tricky. Imagine you built a house, from scratch, it took you ages. You are then asked to remove that brick and that hinge, add three more bricks and change the shape of that window. It doesn't sound like much, but it's massive. You end up having to rebuild half the walls because if you take a brick out, there will be a hole, and maybe the bricks above it won't be supported. It isn't easy to turn around and say: 'I haven't done this before, I'm making it up as I go along.'

I don't feel prepared. I'm not a published author. I'm just finding my way, and I'm sure if I ever get a book deal I'll gradually get better at it all. After, say, a couple of decades. In the meantime, I feel a bit out of place.

6 comments:

  1. I always suffer from this, when I start a new job , even though I think I should be able to do it and I have the skills, what if I am actually a fraud? You have come this far already and maybe there was a time when you couldnt imagine what that would be like. Something tells me that it may be hindsight and I am sure after this it wont be as daunting.

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    1. That's exactly how I feel, thank you Kate! I do worry they're going to find me out as a fraud. Hopefully the feeling will fade after time. I remember starting school, and just not knowing what everyone expected from me, it feels like that! I suppose I must have the skills but I'm just in awe of published writers.

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  2. It's good to step outside your comfort zone. And I like the word upstart!

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    1. It's definitely a good place creatively, if not comfortable! I was called upstart a few times at my Grammar school, I definitely didn't fit in.

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  3. Imposter syndrome. I think tons of women have it. I do and that's why its taken me so long to get started. Wish they would teach girls about it in school. I have a great agent with a powerful agency but I'm still unpublished so now my fear is that she will leave/die/fall out of love with me/realise I'm rubbish/hate the second book etc and I'll be back to square one. The Land of Being Published still seems so far away.

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    1. Hi Mary, it does seem to be a common feature with us writers. On the other hand, we push the work on to get better, if we were over confident I wonder if we would do that! Sounds like you're as close as you can be to getting published, just keep travelling to the Land of Being Published, and hopefully we'll meet up there one day!

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