Cup of Dcaf: Writing and Fear

Standard

I will admit, I’ve never really understood the sentiment that so many writers express: namely, fear about their work. I know many fellow aspiring writers who have said they’re uncomfortable, at best, and outright scared, at worst, about sharing their work with a wider audience. I co-admin a writing group on Facebook with over 100 members, and many of them don’t post their own work; lots more only do so after much encouragement from the rest of the community.

The fact that this website exists, and the volume of work available for all of you to read should tell you that I’m not shy about sharing.

After all, I’m in this racket because I have stories that, at some level, moved me. I write them because I hope that they can move others, as well. I talked about why I write last month, and I think that post stands pretty well on its own. I don’t need to go into my reasons for sharing this stuff here, and I don’t need to go into further detail on why I want to be published. No, this post is about the first time I’ve actually felt scared when sharing my work.

About a week ago, I got a response from a query letter I sent to an agency in New York. A big agency. One that I’d written off months ago as a rejection. Instead, much to my surprise and immediate delight, they want the first 50 pages of All Flames Cast.

Let me tell you, clicking the send button on my response was the scariest thing I’ve done as a writer. This is a major step (even if the likely outcome occurs and they end up rejecting it) toward my dream of getting Chronicle of the Sons published. It’s exciting, and it’s terrifying.

What if it sucks?

What if I just wrote a great query letter, and people who are in, people who are pros at this, come back and say that it’s not salable?

What if it’s bad, and my relative happiness with the story is complete naivete and blinded optimism?

I’m pretty sure my stomach will be curdling nonstop until I get a reply (and who knows when that will be?).

Advertisements

I’m alive…somehow

Standard

Remember when I was super excited to take the train north from London to Glasgow, and I was going to do a bunch of revisions and work on Of Genesis and write a new Book of the Week post?

Yeah, Storm Desmond had different plans.

I have never had a more insane day of travel in my life. I got to be nice and comfy in first class on the train for all of an hour before landslides and severe flooding forced the train to stop, all the passengers were shuffled off, and we were ferried aboard buses to take us the rest of the way north to Glasgow. The bus I was on broke down about 45 minutes later, because of course, and I ended up in a taxi with five Scottish women, being driven by a lunatic who thought it was great fun to go 85 mph and hydroplane all over the highway in the midst of a minor hurricane.

Did I mention that my seatbelt was broken? Because my seatbelt was broken. I legitimately thought I was going to die last Saturday, as this taxi skidded from lane to lane and six people yelled at the driver to slow the eff down.

Somehow, somehow, we made it to Glasgow in one piece, after seeing no fewer than six overturned vehicles on that highway.

I’m back in Colorado now after a less-eventful-but-still-hectic-at-times weekend, and it feels great to be home. Maybe now I’ll be able to get back into my routine of posting here.

Oh, and did I mention that I had the manuscript of All Flames Cast requested by an agent in NY? Because that happened. Full steam ahead on revisions!