Around this time last year I wrote a post titled “I’m scared.” It was a candid take on the feelings I was dealing with while I was on the verge of releasing The Stars Were Right. You’d think with one book under my belt that it would be easier, that publishing Old Broken Road would be more relaxing. Yet, here I am staring at another final manuscript and those same fears are hurdling through my head yet again.
Saying and understanding are two separate things. I now understand: the fear never goes away. It’s like the tide of the ocean. Sometimes its waters are distant and easily ignored and sometimes it hammers us. I don’t care who you are or how successful you’ve been. It’s always there. It pokes at us. It causes self-doubt. I think a lot of writers struggle with this fear. It’s why they rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. It’s why they never submit or never publish. But, for any of us to be successful, we need to push past that fear.
The Bene Gesserit‘s litany against fear always comes to mind at a time like this:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
So, how do we push past this fear? How do we let it pass over and through us? Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have a good answer. This fear isn’t something that has three quick steps or a handy online tutorial. Yet, thousands of authors get past it. If they can do it so can you. My solution: I just do. I swallow that fear, hit publish, and I let the work free. Maybe that’s enough.
Big announcement tomorrow.