Worrying, Whining, and Waiting, Oh My

I haven’t really said this to anyone, but since I finished my book, I’ve been feeling really edgy–and worried. Edginess is not surprising; after all, after you’ve put as much time into the book as I have, with characters that you know inside and out, now that their story is done, you don’t know what to do with yourself. How do you say goodbye, except to say it? But now, what are you supposed do you do with your time?

The worry, of course, is probably typical of anyone who’s ever finished writing a book. I’m listing all my current worries:

  1. Why won’t the people I’ve given the book to read, read it? (How dare they be busy with their own lives?)
  2. What if they’ve read it and hate it?
  3. What if they didn’t mind it, but that’s the best they could say for it?
  4. What if no one publishes it?
  5. What if someone publishes it?
  6. What if it gets published, and no one cares?
  7. What if gets published, and people say they like it, but because I always mistrust people, I don’t believe them, and I stay a curmudgeonly old crank convinced everyone secretly hates me and my writing?
  8. What if I can’t write anything else?
  9. What if I can’t write anything else?

That last worry is probably so familiar, everyone feels it.  I listed it twice because the fear is smothering me–that if I’m lucky enough to be successful, I’ll be a one hit wonder, like Harper Lee.  (Of course, if your book is To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s probably just fine to coast the rest of your life and literary career… I should be that lucky.)

I’ve just been feeling like I have no words right now.  I don’t know what to write.  I feel like there are no poems inside me.  I feel like there never will be again.  I feel like I’m in mourning.  Or maybe I’m having the writer’s equivalent of postpartum depression.

This is coming off as overly dramatic and needy, isn’t it?  You’re probably telling me to STFU.  Believe me, I tell myself the same.  You’re probably also thinking, Why don’t you wait and see what happens, and quit being such a whiny little bitch?  If no one reads/ likes/ publishes your book, so what?  You’ll live.  There’s people dying of Ebola virus, did you think of that?

(Great, Ebola.  Now I’m worrying about that too.)

The truth is, my writing group has read my book, and they like it.  I should accept that they like it.  Chris has read it and likes it.  My Mom has read a good bit of it and she likes it.  But a part of me thinks, well, they only like the book because they like me.  So they “don’t count.”  (Isn’t that some kind of ridiculous thinking?  They’re the ones who should matter the most!)

Ugh.  I’m just a big tangle of insecurities and vanity and… STFU JC Reilly.  And go to bed, while you’re at it.

One thought on “Worrying, Whining, and Waiting, Oh My

  1. Too funny JC. You’ve captured the fleeting thoughts of most writers here. When you’re caught up in the story, it’s wonderful. You’re in a different world, as if you were reading and yet–with control over direction. Then you’re done, and control is what’s fleeting.
    Rejoice in your accomplishment.
    Enjoy every positive response you get and take it at face value.
    Cheers!
    TyCobbsTeeth

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