In honor of yesterday's post, today I will play therapist/BFF/mom/etc. for anyone who needs a few encouraging-ish words about their fears when it comes to writing. That's right—you have a dilemma? I'm here to listen.
*pours glass of milk*
*slides over plate of cookies*
Get it out, guys. Just get it out. (I will also be opening Anonymous comments for this, if you prefer not to have your name revealed.)
We'll start with a comment from 52 Faces yesterday:
So Natalie, how 'bout _this_ one (cuz you're like the guru and stuff): My fear is that even when I manage to eke out some good writing, I STILL won't get published.
Oh, 52, that is the ultimate fear, isn't it? I wish I could say that if you put in your absolute best it'll work out. But, well, sometimes it doesn't. It might sound cocky, but I know my failed submission book is a good book. Editors said it was a good book! They...just didn't know how to market it.
That is the sucky truth. You could write a good book, and it could still get put in the trunk. I wish I could take that reality away, but I can't.
Here's the thing, though, that I've taken comfort in these past months: It's NOT my fault. I did my best. I followed the rules and revised my little heart out. I got close—close enough that I know it wasn't merit that stopped me, but the market.
I can honestly say that I am proud of that book. When I think about it, it's not "Oh, I should have tried harder and listened to my agent about that one flaw." No, I put in everything I had! I truly did. I have no regrets concerning my own efforts and how I handled the story. It is what I always wanted it to be. I did the best with what I could control in the process.
That, despite the not-so-happy outcome, is rewarding. To this day, it is really my only manuscript I feel comfortable saying is DONE.
So yes, 52, that is a valid fear, but it's no excuse not to give it all you got. Knowing you did your best, that you stayed true to your story, is its own kind of reward.
Alrighty! Let's have a heart-to-heart, shall we? I will be here all day with cookies, comfort food, chocolate, comfy couches, and tissues. We can even watch period dramas if you're into that.