Every writer reaches a point in their career where paranoia becomes a huge obstacle in the writing progress. In my case, getting my proposal to my lovely agent. She's been good at the subtle hints but she's very anxious about reading this new project. It's totally not what I usually write and it's a lot of pressure. Maybe these unnecessary fears are causing my own subliminal sabotage. Yep, it's easy to start the wheels of self-doubt, anxiety, and paranoia to turn when your head is stuck in personal struggles. What keeps me going, even with all the pressures that comes with publishing, is my love of storytelling. Maybe it's because I feel it deep in my gut that this project may be 'the one'. I've probably felt that with all my projects but this time it's different in a good but hurt-so-bad kind of way.

Well, during this writing lull I decided to contact a few of my writer friends for some pep talks. Some of these authors have even made it to the bestseller lists in the past...but they're going through this bizarre transition I'm going through with their own proposals. It's scary. No one's safe and if someone who's had good success in the past are struggling to find a publisher now...it makes it even more intense for someone who's at the beginning of their career like me. Writers need other writers. Often along the way we step back, but it's only for personal clarity and reflection. Sometimes we're needy, and sometimes we need the alone time but the pure truth is that we're never alone--after all, no one understands writers better than other writers who walk the same path.

Honest, this post isn't meant to be a downer. It's about perseverance and commitment to a goal, to yourself. It's a commitment to achieving that career that we've all been working toward for as long as we could remember. We just need to remind ourselves the reasons why. Sometimes we lose ourselves in the moment, the crisis...but if we can't see ourselves facing these same speed bumps in our future, then maybe we should stop and consider if this choice we've made is really what we want....

As for me--I'm making a stand to fight the paranoia monster! I've decided that I'm not going to allow myself to fall into that gray area where authors throw away their career because they couldn't take the pressure. I've seen it happen with girlfriends who have put out one amazing book that garnered rave reviews and instant lists who have quit before they even began--those one hit wonders who should have kept the paranoia locked up. It's a shame to see such talents wasted...a real shame. Not me. I'm a fighter, I'm going to keep my eye on reaching the finish line. After all I've been through, I think it's good to have some self-doubt to get us to re-evaluate things. It just means we're human. We're bound to make it happen if we never give up. Those famous words that Rose said to Jack on the raft after the Titanic sank, "I'll never give up, Jack. I'll never give up." Let those words ring in your ears a few times and it'll stick.

Goal for this week: I'm going to put my all into my proposal, then I'm going to close my eyes and press send.

Comments (1)

On October 26, 2009 at 10:37 PM , Abigail McKenley said...

Amazing post Jax! This came at just the right time as I find myself struggling with the same feelings right now. Thanks for helping me to put it all in perspective.