Ok, so I’m not a published author. Yet! But I have let one of my babies out for more than just betas to critique and the response has been far better than I expected. It isn’t the first time I’ve given up copies of one of my works to readers in hope of a response that will help me grow as a writer but it is the first time that everyone has finished reading one and the response has been very positive.
Now that doesn’t mean there wasn’t feedback that caused me have to do more work. I had such great responses from everyone and they were all the same. “Give me more!” Yes that is an explanation point at the end of that quote and it is placed correctly because they were all enthusiastic about this request. So I did the part that isn’t nearly as fun for me, I went back and I re-read and I noted up my copy with places and things I could add to give them what they were asking for.
A funny thing happened though, when other people started to care about my work. It scared me. Before there were no expectations, there was no one that I had to answer to. Yes I did write with the hope of being published and knew that I would have people to answer to if that ever happens but at the time I was writing only for me.
Now when I try to write a follow up book I have all these people in my head. My readers, the agents who will read the revised version, and I worry about whether I’ll be able to deliver on the magic that they felt. Will the characters be true to the people they fell in love with and are so invested in?
It’s a little paralyzing to worry about so many people and I realized today that I’m just scared. Scared, not of failing but succeeding. I know that the book is special to me, whether or not it will be special to anyone else. The answer to that is already yes. Not everyone is going to love my book. I have no fantasy of that but there will be some and if I believe and keep trying, hopefully one of those people will be an agent who will be wildly enthusiastic about it.
So I’m going to set aside all those people in my head except the ones who want me to tell their story and I’m going to sit down and tell it for them and for me. The rest will fall in line.