Last week over on Seekerville, they had special guest Bob Mayer visiting. He spoke about the writer's greatest fear, that of being discovered as a fraud. You can read Bob's guest blog by clicking on the link below. (I hope you do. It's well worth the time.)
As I read the post, I recognized myself in his words. This writer's life is fraught with fearful things.
I had a real-life bout of fear this past week. You see, I sent a proposal to my agent. A first for me since signing with Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary just about a year ago. The projects I've been working on over the last year were books that had been sold by my previous agent, or books that had been sold via pitch sheet at a conference, or something that a publisher had approached me about me writing for them specifically. This proposal for an historical romance series was the first I had prepared for Rachelle to shop for me.
I labored over the proposal template, filling in the various parts. Hook, back cover copy, comparable books, previous sales, biography, synopsis, sample chapters. Writing, rewriting. Then I sent it to the critique partners and waited anxiously for their verdict.
Strangely enough, I got the best of both worlds with the crit partners on this proposal. One of them hammered the synopsis really hard and went lighter on the sample chapters, while the other crit partner hammered the sample chapters and went lighter on the synopsis. Plenty of great ideas and suggestions, and I had lots to work on.
More rewriting. And I was anxious.
So much so, that I stayed up until 4 am one morning working on it because I couldn't sleep. This is the story of my heart, a rewrite of the first novel I ever attempted. I wanted it to be the best I could make it before I sent it to my agent.
When I had it as pretty and polished as I could, I sent it to Rachelle. And fear clawed up my guts. What if she didn't like it? What if, with this proposal, she realized what a colossal mistake she'd made in agreeing to represent me? What if she outed me as a fraud...like Bob Mayer had talked about on Seekerville? What if she read it, shook her head, and started drafting an "I'm outta here" letter to let me down easy? She's a nice person. She would let me down easy.
To my great relief, she liked the story, the proposal looked good, and she would send it along.
So, will this result allay all my anxiety so that the next time I send in a proposal, I'll have no fears?
Nope. Next time I'll be just as nervous, just as anxious. And I don't think this is all bad. Because it pushes me to do my very best each time. Because it keeps me from being complacent. A little fear of failure is a healthy thing, as long as it pushes you to try harder and to set higher goals.
Question for you...do you write with fear?