Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fear of failure, fear of success

I don't think I'm alone in my insecurities. I don't think I have ever finished a manuscript, really polished, checked, read-out-loud, read again, finished a book. Because if I did, then someone can come along and judge it, and I can't tell myself, 'well, of course they think that, it isn't finished.' Then I can keep the hope alive, that I am really an undiscovered writing talent and publishers will want to buy my book.   


There's another fear. Not only am I afraid that I am not the above talent, but I also have a fear that I might be. In which case, the opportunity to mismanage my writing is enormous. And how do people cope with public success? Getting published isn't something you can do quietly, in private, like a painter who just shows a picture to their nicest friends. The book is going to be sent away to the harshest of judges - people who need to make money out of something born of imagination and whimsy. Even if they like it, they have to show it's a commercial proposition. If it passes that (HUGE) hurdle, then it is tested against the world of booksellers and book sales. The opportunities for failure are just so enormous. The odd chance of success is just as scary, not everyone will like the blasted thing. Even the most successful of books has its detractors (in fact, I suspect they have many more).   


I'm rambling. I am becoming a book bore, because I am trying to hold two equally impossible ideas in the same head. This book is either going to be a monumental failure, or an actual success. I should just go back in the other room and complete the polishing, send it off to my lovely agent, change my phone number and hide under a duvet until about 2015. That sounds like a plan...

4 comments:

  1. I can only move forward with the belief my novels won't be incredibly popular. I imagine just a few people will read them and a few of those people will like them, and that will be great. And yet I still haven't completely polished one novel and have eight in progress. Yikes.

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    1. Sounds like I'm not the only one then...finishing is the big, scary hurdle. But if I have to do it, maybe you should too! I don't even have the confidence that my family will like the book...but I have to get on and do it. Maybe move to Sweden or Albania, afterwards...

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  2. Stop worrying and create ,more people will be suppotive thsn will be critical.

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    1. Thank you Angela! And what gorgeous flower photos on your blog, sums up Paris perfectly!

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