Sunday, September 18, 2005

Who's afraid of the big bad submission?


We all have fears. Some of them are rooted in reality. My fear when people go under anesthesia is based on personal experience where I know there are no routine surgeries. The fear is more serious than the actual risk I think. Even minor surgeries on my family make me a basket case. Some fears aren't rooted in reality at all. The boogeyman. Or at least I *hope* it's not.

We authors seem to have a lot of fears.

When you first start writing, you worry about having enough plot, being able to finish, writing well enough. Once you finish the apprehension starts about selling it. Will I ever get it published? That's where I was six months ago.

And I thought once I sold my first book, that'd be the end of it. The end of fear as I knew it. But it's not. Instead, whole new legions of fears start. About promoting. Selling enough books. Getting the second one finished. Not being a one hit wonder.

Now that I've finished Conduit, I'm as worried about submitting it as I was Blood Kiss. Maybe even more so.

And what I've seen lately is that it pretty much never ends.

Authors with five and six books worry about hitting a slump or not selling enough for publishers to keep them on. Authors on the best sellers list worry they didn't chart high enough. Authors at the top of their game worry about staying there.

So why the heck do we write?

Simple answer to that one. Writers can't not write.

I've had periods where I didn't write. I was not a happy camper. I'm so much happy when I'm writing. And it actually doesn't matter what it is. I'm happy writing poetry, LOL which I'll never sell. I'm happy writing on the fanfiction loop that I write on. It's fun and it all belongs to the author who's loop it is.

I so enjoyed writing Conduit because it poured out from me on the page. The momentum kept up, it wouldn't let me write other things. It was a wonderful book to write. No matter what happens with it, I'm proud of it.

I try to balance the fear and doing what I love to do, and I do love to write. It's not all bad. Conduit, despite the scary place it's in, proves that.

May the muses speak loudly and carry big whips


Blogger Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

So true, Mechele, the fears with writing don't go away. I hear it all the time with writers of all stages. But yep, we can't not write either.

Good luck with the next book! Don't let the doubts get you down!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Sable Grey said...

This is a good post, Mechele. I like submitting via email...can submit all day long that way. When I have to drop a submission in the snail mail box, however, I become a nervous wreck. I actually have my husband take my manuscript to the post office. The last time I tried to mail it myself, I sat outside of Ace Hardware in Longmont, CO for thirty minutes - terrified. I've gotten better since, but not much. I still get knots in my stomach. It's not the rejection I'm afraid's just the actual sending it. Sort of like sending your kid out into the big bad world type thing, I guess.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mechele, you're absolutely right.

It never ends!

I know a best-selling author who frets about reviews.
I know unpubbed writers, very GOOD writers, who refuse to submit their stuff. Fear.

And I've got a couple of e-books under contract--and yeah, I worry, lol! The first one was well-received. The second one is a completely different kind of story. Will it sell? Will people who bought the first one be disappointed that the second isn't the same kind? Ack!!

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true, Mechele! I reckon, that in the end, success tastes all the better for the pre-triumph fear.

11:32 PM  
Blogger FD said...

I guess the trick of being sane is not to let your fears drag you down.

When Conduit is accepted, I'm gonna come back and say "I told you so". ;) Good luck!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Melissa Lopez said...

LOL...Paula. I get to tell her "I told you first," first!

*Dreamy sigh* for B!

*Muah* & (Hugs) for your fear.

:-) Mel

5:15 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I too, am scared to submit. *sniffs* I am a submitophobe. Dangit!! I am! *growls* However, I DID see your book on the coming soon list of the Loose ID site. I sniggered and said I KNOW HER!! I feel soo kewl knowing not one but two authors (hugs)

5:21 PM  
Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

Kelly: thank you. I'm trying.

Sable: LOL I still have instant nausea whether I hit send or pop it in the mailbox. And it is exactly like sending your kid out into the big bad world.

Raine: they are going to love your writing. The first one was great and I bet the 2nd is too.

Desiree: let's hope so. *crossing fingers*

Paula: who said I was sane *grins*. But yes you're right. *muah*

Melissa: B is good one. His voice was very distinct to me. ((Hugs))

Jenn: *growls back* Just do it! Do that submission thing. You plotter you. And LOL isn't that neat? Yes, all the traffic that Loose Id sees on the coming soon portion of their website...probably me. I have to go visit it. Like it gets lonely LOL.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

*whispers* I just submitted mine, *crosses fingers*

6:30 PM  
Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

Jenn!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great news. I'm crossing fingers though you don't need it. Good luck and please let me know how it goes. *sniffles* I'm so proud you beat that fear.

6:57 PM  
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8:15 PM  

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