Dumb Writer Fears

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG will be Yolanda Renee, Tyrean Martinson, Madeline Mora-Summonte , LK Hill, Rachna Chhabria, and JA Scott!

Yesterday was the release of The Burning City, the third book in my Siren Song urban fantasy series. While every release day is filled with excitement, it’s also filled with anxiety, too. Insecurity always rears its ugly head: what if no one cares? What if I get awful reviews? What if I sell zero copies? What if the publishing police show up at my house and beat me with sticks for writing a terrible book?

Of course, these are Dumb Writer Fears, and I know that having three books out is a huge deal and something I should be excited about. And I am! Additionally, the first book in the series has sold over a thousand copies, and I’m excited about that. Dumb Writer Fears remain, though. They lurk in dark corners and wait to jump out and bop you on the head when you least expect it. They show up every time you see another writer winning awards, or selling more books than you, or your publisher pays more attention to a best selling author than they do you. You sigh and remind yourself it’s an honor just to be here, yadda yadda. Dumb Writer Fears only seem to shut up when you’re writing, but then they come right back when you’re editing.

I think the best way to deal with these fears is the way you’re supposed to deal with any fear: turn it into fuel. There’s always going to be writers doing better than me, but I can either let that drive me under the covers curled up in a ball, or I can watch and learn from them and try to do what they’re doing. I can look at their successes and turn them into goals for myself. The best way to shut up Dumb Writer Fears is to ask them “okay, so what do I DO about it?” They shut up then, ’cause they’re dumb and they have no idea. They just like to wave their arms and try to scare you.

I don’t really believe the publishing police are gonna beat me with sticks. They’re probably too busy beating George RR Martin demanding the next Song of Ice and Fire book. And I am truly happy about having a third book out, and all my successes so far. Dumb Writer Fears are all around us, though. We need to keep a spray bottle to squirt them with when they get too loud.

30 comments

  1. Congrats on another new release. Wow, I had no idea it doesn’t get any easier. I’m still scared of what may happen the first time I try to send something in to be published. Yes, I have my own little dumb writer inside of me waving his arms. Mind if I borrow your squirt bottle?
    Keep up the great work.

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  2. Hi Megan,
    Congratulations on your third book! Yippee!!! I love your article. It is very encouraging and when I get my first book publish your advice will be a big help.
    I assume you’re on Goodreads so I am going to walk over and find you.
    All the best with your third baby.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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  3. Congratulations on your 4th book! I think that is grounds to officially celebrate success. Keep writing forward and the money will come!

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  4. Congratulations on your latest release! Having three books out is an amazing achievement—as is selling 1000 copies! Wow!

    And I agree with you on the publishing police. They’re totally camped out around George’s house right now. 🙂

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  5. Congrats on the release and Way To Go on the sales. Don’t let those dumb writer fears get you down. You’re doing what you do; that’s all you can do. Nice job.

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  6. That lovely stage where you get to deal with the release jitters… Way to go selling so many books! I’ve got two of them loaded on my kindle, waiting for me. I know, I know. I should go read them. Let me get my third book released first and then I’ll go read while trying to tame my jitters. 😉

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  7. Some of your worries make sense. Not that it helps to worry, but getting reviews is my greatest challenge. Recognizing the problem is half the battle, but it remains a concern. My best solution so far has been to write yet another book.

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    1. I think the best solution to all worries is to get back to writing–the more we worry, the less we write! And when I’m writing is the only time I seem to be wholly focused on the writing instead of worrying what other people think.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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