Where Author Insecurity Comes From

Yesterday, I came across a New York Times article talking about how Writer’s Cramp: In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year Is Slacking. I do think the article is worth a read, but only if you are thinking about how you want to build or alter your career. If not? If you’re solid?

Articles like these, my fellow authors, this is where insecurity comes from. One of the hugest culprits (or triggers if you will) that causes new writers to STOP writing or SWITCH gears is getting hung up on the state of the publishing industry. The thing is, articles like this have been around for as long as the publishing industry has existed. It is very easy to get caught up in promises of how you can make money before you actually have something to sell. Even then, every author and their career is different and I can’t stress that enough. There will *always* be doom and gloom. There will *always* be uncertainty. There will *always* be something to talk about in publishing where it’s the changing role of an agent, editor or author, what readers really want to read, what publishers are looking for, what technology is out there. Always.

Don’t fear the news; fear the empty page.

If something someone says de-rails you from whatever manuscript you’re trying to finish, makes you question that third/fourth/fifth re-write, or causes you to feel like a chump — ditch it. Seriously. Just toss it right out of the window and save it for that moment when you’re ready to think all these state of the publishing articles through or you’ll go mad trying to chase the system. When is that? NOT UNTIL YOU’RE DONE WITH YOUR CURRENT MANUSCRIPT.

Read what I wrote earlier about how the zeitgeist can jump off a cliff, then you’ll understand this next line. Say it with me: If you cannot trust yourself or someone else to do right by you, then Trust. The. Work. Trust the work. Fifteen rewrites. Ten. One. Four. Trust the work.

When you do that, when you FINISH what you’ve started, something magical happens. Your confidence grows, you stretch your limits, and suddenly you are able to do more with less effort because you know you can do it, because you already did.

If you’re still worried about what’s going to happen to you? Get a support group, go to church, read tarot cards, do whatever it is you need to do to get over your fear. Then tell yourself this: you do not have time to get hung up in b.s. because you are too busy writing. Eventually, you’ll let all the other b.s. go because you’ll love your work, it’ll love you back, and you’ll have a strong core of confidence to master your own destiny. It’s a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn but once you learn it, you’ll be a helluva lot happier.

Good luck!

    Mood: Aristotle-y
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Um… Lost count.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Walk, a long one
    In My Ears: The Birds. As in… actual birds.
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations
    Movie Last Viewed: Harry Potter as part of a marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: Cross-stitch
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG
One Response to Where Author Insecurity Comes From
  1. [...] This isn’t the first time such things have been posted either – the publishing world is unde... blog.awmonline.com.au/2012/05/18/friday-fry-up-21

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

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