Since it’s Halloween and all…

I thought I’d share my top 10 writerly fears. Or maybe I should say current writerly fears. I had plenty of fears before a contract came into the picture – I’m never going to find an agent, I’m never going to be published, my story SUCKS – and always thought that once I had an agent, had an editor, had a cover on those pages, all those fears would disappear. I mean, what did published authors really have to worry about, right? They had a flipping book! All their dreams came true! Happily ever after! Etc. Etc. Etc.!

Right?

Um…

Maybe. Maybe once A5 is released into the wild I will magically forget all my nail-biting, caffeine-binging, compulsive-email-checking moments. But I sort of doubt it. Because here, in this weird space between contract and publication, I’m finding myself anxious as ever. My fears haven’t gone away. They’ve just changed. I’ve found new things to worry about. Hooray for me.

So without further ado, I present the ten thoughts that scare me on a regular basis:

(I’m just going to…um…wait outside while you read. Because I want to. It’s hot in here. Not because I’m, like, exposing all my current insecurities or anything.)

1. Publication. Because as much as I want my book to come out (and believe me, I want it bad), publication means that people will actually be reading it. Reading it. And like, forming opinions on it, and stuff. Which makes me feel an awful lot like the girl whose bikini top flipped off on the way down the water slide. (It’s mortifying. Trust me.)

2. Waking Up and realizing this was all a dream. There is no book deal. There is no agent. There is only a shoebox filled with form rejection letters and a manuscript filled with suck.

3. Losing it – whatever it is. I wrote a full book. A beginning – middle – end. What if I can’t do it again? What if that was a fluke?

4. Wanting too much – isn’t what you have enough? Can’t you just be grateful for what you’ve been given? I am grateful. I’m grateful every day. You don’t query agents for 7 years and suddenly become entitled, but you do wonder if it’s all too good to be true.

5. Forgetting to press “save.” Slaying a scene, and losing it all. And on that note:

6. Theft. I have an irrational fear that someone is going to break into my house, and the ONLY thing they will take is my laptop. Forget the TV. Forget my purse. Straight for the laptop.

7. People hating my book. Ok, I know it’s not for everyone. I get it. But what if it turns out my agent and editor were wrong? That it really sucks? What if people start coming after us with pitchforks and we have to retreat into the mountains and live off the land and then die a slow painful death like the guy in that book who ate bad berries or something and starved in the Alaska wilderness in his VW bus? What if they then blame me for ruining their lives and resort to cannibalism and I obviously get the short straw because I’m the one that had to go and write a craptacular book? And on that note:

8. Disappointing the people who believe in me. My agent, my editor, my family. Apparently this is a vulnerability you don’t outgrow with age.

And yet, at the same time I’m also petrified that:

9. Publication will be cancelled. Or the world really will end in 2012.

And finally,

10. Spending so much energy freaking out about things that I forget just how freaking lucky I am.

Right. I’m going to do some yoga and drink some decaf.

But before I go, a couple reminders:

1. Today is the last day to enter the Haunted Halloween Contest at Confessions of a Bookaholic! Quick, sign up for your chance to win a signed advance copy of ARTICLE 5!

2. If you haven’t checked it out, you must read my spooky Halloween interview at Brave New Words with  15 year old Scorn. That codename isn’t the only thing scary about this post. He’s offering tips on how to survive the zombiapocalyse, and you don’t want to miss out.

3. And last but NOT least – HOW AWESOME IS THIS??? Petra, you are the coolest! I just want to sit here and watch it tick down. Tick. Tick. Tick. SO COOL! Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm! (I’m still trying to get this into my sidebar…computers are such a mystery to me.)

 

And if you want this for your own website, Petra has graciously provided the secret code:

<div align=”center”><object codebase=“http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ width=”155″ height=”239″ id=”countdown”><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”sameDomain” /><param name=”movie” value=“http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=4a308d84cdd04aa2015bbe13622d5d7c_15536″ /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><embed src=“http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=4a308d84cdd04aa2015bbe13622d5d7c_15536″ name=”countdown” width=”155″ height=”239″ wmode=”transparent” allowScriptAccess=”sameDomain” allowFullScreen=”false” codebase=“http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ /></object></div>
<div style=”text-align: center;”><textarea cols=”17″><div align=”center”><object codebase=“http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ width=”155″ height=”239″ id=”countdown”><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”sameDomain” /><param name=”movie” value=“http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=4a308d84cdd04aa2015bbe13622d5d7c_15536″ /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><embed src=“http://countdownpage.createyourcountdown.com/countdown.swf?filename=4a308d84cdd04aa2015bbe13622d5d7c_15536″ name=”countdown” width=”155″ height=”239″ wmode=”transparent” allowScriptAccess=”sameDomain” allowFullScreen=”false” codebase=“http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ /></object></div></textarea></

div>

8 Responses to Since it’s Halloween and all…

  1. Kristen, you NAILED it! All the way down to: “9.Publication will be cancelled. Or the world really will end in 2012.” Yes, I really do fear this.

    And now I need some yoga, too, because I may be hyperventilating. Thanks for making my Halloween scary! (and for making me laugh).

  2. Kristin Lenz says:

    Breathe my fellow worry-wort! It’s all good. And I know because I read your book, and days later I still want to give it a hug every time I walk past it on my book shelf. :)

    • Kristen says:

      Katie – You’re welcome for making your Halloween scary! I’m happy to spread the joy…er…fear! LOL. Here’s what I’ve learned from working in mental health – the more you talk about what frightens you, the less you fear it. Ok, that’s the idea anyway. I’ll let you know if it works.

      Kristin – Aw shucks. You make me blush. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support!!

  3. Kristen, I swear I could have written this list verbatim. Thanks for sharing. So glad I’m not the only one with these phobias.

  4. Joan Epstein says:

    Kristen, We miss you here!!! I keep reading the blog for more “scoop” about the book. Can’t wait to get it. Will you come back to Louisville for an official book signing?

    • Kristen says:

      Veronica – thanks. And I’m sorry. But mostly thanks!

      Joan – I miss you all in Louisville too! I hope to come back in the spring some time! Thanks for checking in on the blog!

  5. Carole says:

    Kristen,

    You are definitely a writer; this blog proves what a great (positive and negative) imagination you have!

    Love you,

    Carole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>