I love to write.
I will do it until the end of time because I love meeting new characters and taking them on adventures. I will write regardless of whether or not I am ever published, for the sheer joy of it.
The road to publishing terrifies me.
You can see my avoidance in some of my posts, actually. Things like Is 28 too Old to Be a Debut Author? and Querying an Agent is Terrifying. My doubt seeps through in everything I do and as I become older, it feel myself shrinking further and further back. I am more aware of time commitments, people commitments, money commitments, and altogether I often feel like I want to throw myself in bed and hide under the covers until the monsters go away.
Because of all these massive to do lists with expectations I don’t quite understand or feel I could achieve on the path to publication, I have built in a simple roadblock for myself: “I have so many ideas, I want to write them all!”
While this is theoretically well and good, it also means that I have a stack of first drafts that I am actively avoiding. I have a second draft with beta reader notes that I’ve buried in the dark abyss of my mind. I have a WIP that I look at and decide to go fiddle with my Bullet Journal or pin more recipes on Pinterest (my recipe board is the epitome of my avoidance pile… I have 600 recipes converted to Paprika, and another 600 sitting in wait on Pinterest. I don’t think I have that much time IN MY LIFE to cook that much).
Every once and a while, I give myself a motivational speech. “This is easy!” I tell myself. “Make a plan! Use a notebook! Daily goals!” and I get all sorts of excited about the whole thing. “You can finish this WIP by March and start drafting immediately!” … And here we are in February and I’m way behind because every time I look at my plot notes, my heart stammers and that voice in my head whispers, what’s the point? You’re never going to do anything with it. You’d have to figure out how to write a query letter. Lots of query letters. And what if you did get an agent? You’d have to talk to them. Maybe even in person. And if your book got published you’d have to market it.
Marketing is my nemesis. It terrifies me. So many people, so many expectations, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I barely market this blog, guys. I just let the automated thing shoot out to Twitter and Tumblr when posts drop and sometimes I come say hi to you because I like books and you like books and I don’t know what to say. “Hi, we both like books. I liked your post about books. I’m leaving now. *retreats*”
I can’t imagine doing that in person. With people. I am legitimately the most awkward muffin. I don’t know what real people are thinking and even if I love my book (I would hope so) the idea of talking to people in person who are looking at me with eyes and judging me and I am not telepathic so I cannot read their thoughts and what if I am doing everything wrong and nope.
So I don’t write stories. I write blog posts. I go to see movies. I play with my cats. And then, a story blossoms in my mind with a desperate journalist and a time traveling inventor and they see all the most amazing moments in history and I want to go to there.
And then I remember. And I falter.