Monday Musings: Much Nervous! So Excite! Wow! a.k.a. The Joy and Fear of Stepping Up

It’s great to have a chance to shine, it really is.  Getting published is a source of pride and joy for me.  At the same time, though, it’s not all peaches and cream.  It’s a similar feeling to any other time in my life where I’ve stood at the cusp of a new opportunity.

It’s frightening in a way.  Just because you’ve been chosen to take a shot at something (a shot you’ve earned) doesn’t mean you will succeed.  You could misstep, you could fall short, or maybe the fates won’t be with you, even if you do everything right.  That fear, that anxiety, can be crippling if you dwell on it.

So there you are, walking a tightrope between intoxicating pride and crippling anxiety.  Fall into the abyss of fear and you won’t get anything done.  Let pride go to your head and you won’t have the presence of mind to adjust your approach to this new opportunity.  Both lead to the same end-state: Failure!

So don’t squander your opportunities!  Keep a cool head, but never lose your confidence!

Speaking of my own new opportunity, take a moment and check out my first published book, The Opening Bell!  Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Kickstarter Update: You are probably sick of it but … 24 hours to go!

I’ll be frank.

I’m sure you don’t read this blog to hear me beg and plead for Kickstarter donations.  You want to read about writing, politics, or my novels, right?  So, with that said, I apologize ahead of time for this, but …

OMFG!  24 hours to go!  Not there yet!  *runs in circles, pinwheeling arms, until collapsing in a twitching heap*

If you had ever considered donating, even a little, but were procrastinating, now is the time to stop that and chip in.  We aren’t to the last minute yet but …. that isn’t far off.

Anxiety: A True Enemy of the Writer

As you know and will probably get sick of hearing about, I have started a Kickstarter to raise funds for furthering my writing (insert cheap plug here).  What I didn’t mention about it was that it took a tremendous amount of nerve to actually click the ‘Start campaign’ button.  You might think that strange.  After all, in essence, Kickstarter is a no-risk venture, the worst that can happen is you don’t make your goal and don’t make any money.

The thing is, there IS a risk, a very big one: a risk to my ego, my sense of self-worth.  That may sound like the start of a pity party, but consider that, for a serious author, their writing is drawn from themselves.  It’s a tapestry woven from heartstrings and bits of our souls.  In essence, an author puts themselves on the line whenever they write and present it forth for the public.  If the masses recoil in horror or, perhaps worse, ignore the works they see, what message does that send to the author?  In essence, it is a judgement on the worth of the author and the work they have poured themselves into.

Now, we come to the title of this piece.  Anxiety, fear of the future, can be a crippling roadblock to a writer.  The moment a writer (or any artist really) puts their work out for the public to see, they put their souls on display.  It is understandable why so many people dabble in writing but never become more than that.  It’s not just the financial risks (though there are plenty of those) or any social stigma; there is the very real fear of rejection of that very real part of you by others.  That anxiety can be so crippling that you never hit that ‘Publish’ button or the ‘Start campaign’ one.  Your finger creeps back and you tell yourself that you just can’t do it.

All we can do as writers, creators, and readers is to encourage us to try.  We have to support each other to fight through the anxiety, to pick ourselves up after every failed attempt, and keep going.  Every rejection letter, every abrasive comment, every blank look from those who just don’t care, those are the slings and arrows we have to help each other to get past.  Fear can be overcome.  We do it every time we put pen to paper to write a new first chapter or scribe the first line of a play or the opening stanza of a poem.  Let’s not stop now.