OK, I think I’ve set the scene nicely in terms of what Becoming an Author is all about, and who I am and where I’m coming from. But this is supposed to be a chronicle of my writing journey, so let’s lay it out there.
Where am I in that journey?
Answer: I’ve written a first full draft of one manuscript.
Now it’s hiding away on a Google doc (because that’s what I work on – super paranoid about not saving something, or losing my file, so like having everything on the cloud).
I also have around seven other stories that I’m working on. Some of which I’m more excited about, and some of which are better developed than others.
For some people that will seem like a huge achievement, and it does to me – putting those final words on my main manuscript was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Yet to others you’ll be scoffing at my only having one story completed, and only a trifling seven in the to-do pile.
Before I go on, I’m curious to know where you all are on your journey. Are you like me with half-baked ideas floating about all over the place? Do you already have a finished draft, with an agent lined up? Are you on the brink of self-publishing? Have you already published?
Let me know – I love hearing how other people are getting on!
But for now, let’s talk about next steps.
For me, my next step is going to be sending my complete manuscript to a friend for them to take a look at. My friend has nothing to do with the publishing industry, they’re just your average book lover, and have promised to give me a truthful (yet diplomatic) review.
I should point out that I told my friend that I’d completed my book about a month ago, at which point they offered to read it. I still haven’t sent it!
And this is the biggest blocker for me in terms of making any progress in Becoming an Author: I am absolutely terrified of letting anyone read my work.
Even though I know my friend will be very polite and gentle with any feedback, I am scared stiff of handing it over. Either my friend will hate it, and give me lots of ‘constructive criticism’ which will crush me. Or they will tell me they love it and I’ll a) not believe them and assume they’re just saying to be nice, or b) I will believe it and then I’ll have to do something with this bloody book!
Seeing it in black and white, I am 100% aware that this logic makes no sense.
I want to write a novel (and in fact have done this part). I want to have my novel published – which means at some point somebody is going to have to read it! And I want people to read it. I think it’s a good book, that people will get something from.
Yet, at the same time I don’t want anyone to even know it exists.
Bonkers, right? Yep, well this is the inner turmoil that I live with. I warned you in early blog posts that you’re going to get the good, the bad, and the ugly. So here it is.
This mega paradox is stopping me from moving forward with one of my biggest dreams. I feel foolish, and more than a little annoyed at myself about it.
So what the heck should I do? I am genuinely asking!
I know I cannot be the only aspiring author out there who’s dealing with this, so please come to my rescue. If you’ve been here, done that, and got the t-shirt, I’d love to know how you got over it. And if you’re in the same boat as me right now, speak up and maybe together we can help each other over this hump.