I know there’s still a stigma attached to self-publishing but let’s be honest, going indie takes guts. We don’t have a team of agents and editors and publishers concerned with our every move and stroking our ego leading up to publication day. There is no coddling or hand holding. There is no contractual or monetary evidence that we are actually talented.
We are alone and we operate on pure faith. That’s it. And it’s scary.
I’ve spent the last few months making a list of book reviewers to contact when I release my current WIP. It’s been incredibly tedious and since I’m a pretty voracious reader, I can’t help but find myself scrolling through every bloggers backlog and writing down books that sound interesting. It was the sort of distraction that started out innocent but just might end up being detrimental.
See, I look at these other books, at these traditionally published, plot-driven, shiny-cover-having books and I can’t help but feel…like I don’t belong. I usually don’t struggle with confidence when it comes to writing but as I get closer and closer to completing this project, I can sense those insecurities starting to surface. And instead of ignoring them like I usually do, I made the mistake of letting myself indulge in them a little today. I was comparing my story to every synopsis I read and torturing myself with a mental list of all of the ways mine didn’t measure up; of how I could have made it better. I determined that I was never going to be as good as these other authors and that maybe I was wasting my time with this whole sabbatical thing and that I should just give up.
Yeah, things escalated pretty quickly. But the thing is, these feelings are nothing new. Not for me and not for those traditionally published authors I was reading about. Writing is an emotional endeavor; it just doesn’t work unless you know how to be vulnerable. And along with being vulnerable comes fear and self-doubt. It’s inevitable and totally natural. So I can’t blame myself for being afraid and I can’t pretend it isn’t there. I can’t even put a stop to it. Because the fear will always be there. All I can do is feel it, and then keep writing anyway.