Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fear of Rejection

Fear is the bane of any unpublished writer.  I have started many books and left them on the wayside. I wish I had copies of them as a few were pretty good ideas.  But I would get to that point of decision; I am either going to finish this or toss it.  I would toss it every time.  Why?  It was not that I did not think it was a good story. It was that I knew if I finished it, I would have to do something with it.  So despite teachers telling me to finish, friends... family... doing the same,  I would give up and not write for awhile.  

The problem is, I am one of those people that can't live without creating.  So I channeled that energy into roleplaying games and SCA for a time.  It was never quite the same but it eased that need to create. Overcoming this fear was the biggest hurdle in my life and I am not young.  I am a grandma, really not young.

A popular positive thinking guru taught in one of his seminars that FEAR stood for false evidence appearing real.  He went on to teach that surveys showed that people feared speaking in public more than death.  I feared rejection of my writing more than death.   Rejection and speaking in public rarely cause death.  I mean for speaking in public you pretty much have to be assassinated.  Yet this fear feels so very real, as if behind that rejection letter or that podium is a real tiger lurking. 

When I overcame my fear for the first time, it wasn't even with my work.  I took something my mother had written and with her permission reworked it.  However, when I didn't receive instant rejection, I tentatively put out a second children's book of my own.  I have a great illustrator named Rebecca Hunt that created a friendly looking children's dragon type for my work. 

Emboldened by that experience, I finished one of the many novels I had started and with great hesitation, put it out there.   It got positive acceptance.  I realize now that even if it didn't get positive acceptance, it was not the publishing of it I needed most in my life.  It was the writing of it.  When I pushed that send button to send it out into the world, I achieved a life goal.  I realized my goal was to be published,  being liked was the icing.  

I still had one real fear left.   I had to get myself out there.  I created a website, a blog and learned how to use twitter.  That done, I braved my last real fear, I stepped into a bookstore and sold myself.  I walked out with my book on their shelves and a book signing scheduled for March 22, 2014 in Omak, Wa.  The last of my huge fears had been conquered.  I could have danced all the way to my car. I might have actually.

For those still writing but not publishing, I actually recommend if you want to independently publish that you look at bookbaby.com.  I started with Createspace but that limits you to Amazon.  I have no objections to Createspace.  They have been great and supportive.  But they want to corner you into the Amazon world.  I want Nook readers to have my book too. 

I have one fear left, flying. But I have learned I can handle that one.  So, if any of you want to meet up, just find a bookstore willing to let me sign for a day and I will come where ever I am bid.  After all, it will give me more opportunities to put this last fear down as something I have overcome!!