Cold Feet

Posted Jan 18 2013, 12:54 pm in , , , , , , ,

I’m excited to be staring down the barrel of publication, but I’m also terrified, because this is the moment of truth. What if nobody likes what I’ve written? What if people laugh, make fun or trash my creation? What if people who know me well are shocked by what I write? (Can you tell I’ve been a worrier about the proverbial they my whole life?) It’s not rational to think I can go through this process without negative reviews or comments. Such is life when you put yourself out there. Still, thinking about those moments makes my stomach churn.

Last night, standing in the kitchen, expressing some of these concerns, my 11-year-old daughter was the voice of reason. She grabbed me by both shoulders and squeezed, saying, “Mom, you gotta think like Taylor Swift. You know what she says? She doesn’t pay attention to the negative stuff people write about her, because it only brings her down.” My daughter wrapped her arms around my waist. “You should do that.”
How’d I get so lucky? (Okay…now I’ve gone from worried about negative feedback to crying over how much I adore my daughter. Did I say I’m an emotional wreck? Did I mention I’m one day from turning 40? Draw your own conclusion there.)

You know, it’s hard to imagine—after working toward this goal for so long—that any part of getting published wouldn’t be drenched in confetti and surrounded by a thousand, joyous singing voices. Fortunately, the only part I’m struggling with is the unknown part, the how-will-my-book-be-received part. It’s comforting to think that most writers go through this, whether it’s their first novel or their fiftieth.

It all comes down to one thing. I just want to be loved…is that so wrong? 😉



6 responses to “Cold Feet”

  1. Nicole says:

    I love that there is both a T Swift and Jon Lovitz reference in this post! I’ve got nothing to offer on the cold feet/worry. One nice thing is no matter how it’s received, you get to keep writing. (Also, it’s too good to bomb, so :p)

  2. Emma Lai says:

    Elley, you ARE loved, and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful, supportive fan base in no time, but you’re right, whether it’s the first or the fiftieth, self-doubt clings to each release.

    I have a list of things I try to remember when I see criticism.
    1) I loved that story so much I had to share it with the world. (Few people ever even take the risk.)
    2) In your case, an editor loved the story so much, he/she wanted to see it published.
    3) Sometimes, criticism, of the constructive kind, can help us grow as a writer. When I’m in the right frame of mind, I’ll go look at the “bad” reviews and see if there’s anything that will help me improve. I’ve had a few that actually have. I’ve also had one that, while the reader hated the heroine, her reaction told me I’d accomplished what I’d wanted with the character.
    4) It’s impossible for everyone to love the same thing. (What a boring world we’d live in if that was the case. Embrace the uniqueness in your work even if it draws criticism.)
    5) It always helps to have another story in progress with characters you’ve fallen in love with.

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