write bravely ~ 2/13/2011

I’ve been stuck! Not “writer’s block” kind of stuck…I have plenty of ideas for the current book I’m trying to write. Instead, I’ve been caught in a form of “where do I go from here” quicksand. Discontent in the middle of February is nothing new to most people. We all re-evaluate and experience a restless urge for change this time of year. I guess the difference is I’ve been weighing this over long before now. And after months of introspection, I’ve come to the conclusion the trials of self-publishing and self-fear have pulled me too far into their depths.

I intend to break free!

I have no regrets about self-publishing the past two books. I continue to be fascinated by this growing trend and do my best to learn more about it every chance I get. And I intend to remain entrenched in it, in the hopes I can better my chances for success. However, when I reflect on this past year, I come to a startling conclusion: I spent too much energy on unproductive areas which didn’t contribute to my ultimate goal. Self-publishing, unfortunately, was the biggest time hog. As the sole employee, I wore myself out with editing, design, promotion, and marketing. It demanded so much attention I forgot about the bigger picture.

I want to write!

And as for self-fear, I’ve sensed a distressing shift in my priorities, and I’m none too happy about it. Somewhere along the way I’ve allowed others to define me and although much-if not all-has been in my own mind, those perceptions cloud my reality. I’ve at times believed I was being mocked, judged, and ignored by those around me. The terrible truth, however, was that I did all of those things to myself. Writing is a hard thing to explain to those who don’t do it. And while the grueling process isn’t something I could ever effectively describe, I think many would understand the actual sharing of one’s work is scary as hell. It opens one to criticism, scorn, and misinterpretation. The vulnerability of writing (or any type of creative feat) has the subversive power to morph into fear. Fear is paralyzing and unproductive. It holds me back when I want to move forward.

I choose to ignore the fear so I can write bravely!

Which begs the question, “where do I go from here?” I don’t intend to go back into the murkiness of cowardly distraction. Instead, I will boldly write this 3rd book rather than think about publishing it. I will open my mind to improvement rather than close it with the worry my craft won’t get better. And when I need a bigger nudge, I will rely on the fellowship of writing groups and find solace in the knowledge I am not alone in my struggles. Perhaps of greatest importance, I will step completely outside my comfort zone and engage the process of finding a literary agent and/or editor. Though it’s impossible to predict the future, I can clearly foresee lonely hours rewriting and a towering pile of form-letter rejections.

Bu that’s okay! Doubt and discouragement cannot kill my joy…they will keep it alive 🙂

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