2/27/12

You Have Nothing to Fear But That Big Hairy Spider Crawling Up the Back of Your Neck by Tristi Pinkston


The Top Ten Fears of Unpublished Writers:

10. What if my book doesn't sell?

9. What if the stores won't stock my book on their shelves?

8. What if no one will publish me?

7. What if no one likes what I've written?

6. What if I can't get this ending/plot/scene right?

5. What if I used lay when it should have been lie?

4. What if the computer crashes and erases all my work?

3. What if I can't write more than 40,000 words?

2. What if this is the stupidest story ever known to man?

1. What if I'm not really a writer?


I'd wager these fears sound familiar, if you're an aspiring author. You might have put them in different order, and perhaps have thrown in some things like "finding time to write," etc, but by and large, I think every new writer has these fears.

Now, let's look at the other side of the coin.

The Top Ten Fears of Published Writers:

10. What if my book doesn't sell?

9. What if the stores won't stock my book on their shelves?

8. What if no one will publish me?

7. What if no one likes what I've written?

6. What if I can't get this ending/plot/scene right?

5. What if I used lay when it should have been lie?

4. What if the computer crashes and erases all my work?

3. What if I can't write more than 40,000 words?

2. What if this is the stupidest story ever known to man?

1. What if I'm not really a writer?


Notice anything? Yep—the published author has pretty much the same fears as the unpublished author. If you're published, you may feel a little more confident over the whole lay/lie thing (I don't) and you may feel that you've got a better handle on your scene structures, but deep down, we're all the same. We all want people to like us, we all worry that our readers won't like this new book as much as they did the last, and we wonder if our publisher will or will not accept our latest submission. A published author feels nervous while waiting for that acceptance/rejection letter, and it makes our day when we hear that someone liked our book.

I'm not telling you this to depress you -- I'm telling you this so I can lead up to one simple, fundamental truth: getting published is not like waving a magic wand that will make all your problems go away and all your dreams come true. It will not make you more attractive, it will not make you an instant public speaker, and it will not ensure popularity. It will not boost your confidence. It will not make you a fabulous promoter.

You must work on all these things yourself.

You make yourself a better speaker. You make yourself good at promotion. You build your own confidence. And there is no reason on this great green earth why you should wait until you're published to start working on these attributes.


Tristi Pinkston is the author of nine published books, including the Secret Sisters mystery series. In addition to being a prolific author, Tristi also provides a variety of author services, including editing and online writing instruction. You can visit her at www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com or her website at www.tristipinkston.com.

6 comments:

Rebecca Belliston said...

Very, very true. Thanks for the reminder!

Donna K. Weaver said...

You know, Tristi, I've realized this from all things I'm learning from my published author friends.

Who knew, right?

Charlie Holmberg said...

Ah, nice list(s). I can identify with a few of them. ;) Thanks for the post!

On a side note, I enjoyed your editing panel at LTUE!

Paul McCormick said...

It won't make me more attractive? Then why am I doing ANY of this. :) Thanks for posting this, it was actually really helpful to me today. It mostly reminded me that I'm not alone in this.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies!

Angela Cothran said...

This is AWESOME! Thanks for making me feel a little better today :)