Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fear of Letting Go

I've been rewriting my manuscript for my agent. I've read and revised it countless times. It's ready. I think. I'm not sure. Fear is preventing me from clicking Send. Below is a list of my fears, and the pep talks I'm giving myself. Can you relate to any of these?

Fear the writing isn't good enough
My pep talk: the story is sound, and you've followed your agent's sage advice. The words in your manuscript are not carved in stone.

Fear of making a bad first impression on editors
My pep talk: you're submitting your best work. The rest is out of your control.

Fear of rejection
My pep talk: you're a writer, get over it. Harsh, but true. We all experience rejection, even pros like Jane Yolen. If you haven't read it yet, here's a great post about famous author rejections.

Fear I've overlooked mistakes
My pep talk: you've worked hard to catch each mistake. You've read published books with errors, even though they're written by famous authors and edited by pros at the big houses. It proves writers and editors are human, not robots.

Fear of failure
My pep talk: the only sure way you'll fail is if you don't try. Here's a great post about failing your way to success.

Fear of ridicule from friends, family, and peers
My pep talk: your friends, family, and fellow writers are not monsters. They are supportive, encouraging people. They'll have your back during the good and bad times ahead.

Do you experience these same fears, or are there any you'd like to add to the list? Do they prevent you from clicking Send or mailing your manuscript? And what pep talk works for you?

51 comments:

  1. Let it go, Julie! Faith overcomes Fear.

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  2. I have the same fears, but love your pep talks! I tell myself the same sort of things, and try to get over it. Press send, Julie! Your manuscript will be strong. :)

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  3. I have definitely experienced every one of those fears! Karen is right, let them go. Your agent loved your novel enough to sign you, that's huge! Embrace that and trust in her and your work. Hit send.

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  4. Hit "Send" Julie! You've obviously done all you can and it's time to "abandon" the mss as we all must at this point. I'm betting it's a wonderful book!

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  5. If you're sure you've done all you can according to her revision notes, plus some, then hit Send. Like you said, words aren't permanent and your agent will keep guiding you. I'm a few weeks away from your scenario--still pruning and polishing. :) If you want to swap, let me know!!!

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  6. I hear you, Julie. YES, send it off! I bet you convinced yourself to send it just by writing this post. Despite the fear (which I totally understand because I'm in the same boat -- but on a lesser scale because I'm just querying), isn't it exciting to think that REAL EDITORS are going to see your manuscript? That must be wonderful and terrifying!! Hoping to hear some great news from you soon!

    Amy

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  7. SEND SEND SEND SEND SEND! I'm such a monster! ;P I am sooooo excited for you, and I can't wait to see your book in print. So banish those fears and go for it. I know how hard you've worked on this, so it's not like you haven't done what you needed to do, that would be different. And like you said, we (all your writer friends) are behind you 100%

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  8. I have gone through all the fears you mentioned. Its a part of being a writer. I undergo these fears everytime I need to send something to an editor.

    Just click the send button, Julie. I am helping you move your finger towards that button.

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  9. Great pep talks! It sounds like it may be time to hit send!

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  10. Hello, fears! I've shared them all. At LA Festival of Books last year, DJ MacHale (Pendragon Series) shared that he still fears pushing the SEND button. That monumental push is just one step of the journey. Celebrate it! If you don't, how will all the good things coming your way find you?

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  11. Conquering fear makes us stronger. Listen to your pep talks and hit send.

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  12. I identify with this Julie - there's always something you can tinker with forever. But if you think it's ready, it probably is! Go for it:)

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  13. I can relate to all of those - I tinker and tinker and tinker... but you know you've done your best work so it's time to hit 'send' :)

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  14. Hit send! I sound brave, but I have the same fears.

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  15. I have anxiety for you. I'm Wishing everything turns out well. :)

    My worst fears relate to the things I have no control over, like this one "Fear of making a bad first impression on editors"

    Loss of control is...stinky.

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  16. You can do it! And you know what? If it isn't ready, the two of you work on another round. :)

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  17. Hi, Julie. Hit that button!!
    Your agent thought it good otherwise you'd still be looking for representation. You were given instructions and you followed them. Now it's time to let the little bird out of its nest.
    Have faith!

    -Jimmy

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  18. I know what you mean...I'm sitting on so many manuscripts...I'm scared to send them out...

    I'm sure you will find the courage this week to hit the send button. I'm planning on finding it on Tuesday.... :-)

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  19. Clicking send is always terrifying. Wine helps.

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  20. You're not alone, Julie. I have these fears with everything I write. Even if it's a small poem.

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  21. Great post, Julie. We must've been on the same wavelength yesterday. I don't know if I give myself peptalks so much as kick myself in the butt to move forward despite the fear. Too bad the butt kicking doesn't always do the job.

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  22. So did the pep talks work? Have you pressed send? I hope so.

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  23. I have ALL of these fears. Your pep talks are good ones though. Press send and let it go.

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  24. Love all the pep talks -- *bookmarking this*!

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  25. I've had all these fears, Julie. And when the book's published, you still feel nervous. But we never get published if we don't SEND IT. I hope by now you have.

    Thanks so much for dropping by.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

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  26. I relate to all of these fears. Each and every single one. Sometimes we have to let know knowing that the fears won't ever leave...so it's a matter of picking a time. GOOD LUCK!

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  27. Hi,

    Take a deep breath and press SEND!

    If you don't the angst will get worse, and you'll never know the possible outcome if you don't press Send.

    Sincere good luck. ;)

    best
    F

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  28. Hi Julie,

    I love coming by and reading your inspirational posts. Thanks for sharing these pep talk!

    All the best!

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  29. Julie, I think you're ready girl! Press SEND! Nothing more can happen til you do!

    Denise<3

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  30. Julie, just trust in yourself! You are skilled and have come so far! What's the worst that could happen? Maybe your agent will read the revision and send it back to you for an additional tweak. That's totally okay! You can do this and will do well, I know it!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  31. Oh yeah, I think fear is a big part of being a writer and an author. I worry a lot about sales, too. Like you, I find pep talks help. Good luck!

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  32. YES, fear of failure and ridicule from family and friends...I try the pep talk and most times it works but others, not so much!

    did you hit the send button yet?
    I'm posting as anonymous because otherwise it keeps kicking me out...UGH!

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  33. Fear...I don't really have those kinds of fears because I've gotten so many rejection letters that they don't faze me anymore! Frustrations, yes! I am so frustrated that I can't FINISH that dang manuscript faster!

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  34. I hear you! Part of me is afraid every time I open up my current WIP to do more work. All we can do is push past it, keep writing, and trust that we're giving our best.

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  35. Press send Julie and good luck, I bet it's awesome! I'm just about to start some synopses so I'll join you on the nerve jangling ride.

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  36. Wow! I was touched by the outpouring of so much encouragement and support, and I'm not even in your shoes! I can only hope that when the day comes when I am sitting where you are, my finger hovering over the "send" button, that I too will have the support of so many!
    You have obviously touched these people in some form or fashion. That being said, it stands to reason that if you have done all you can, then your manuscript is as its best. Your agent believed in you from the beginning, and so have all the others who have posted here. Hit the send button and let the fun begin!!!

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  37. Great advice and I am sure all writers suffer from this. And your pep talked worked for me… thx.

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  38. julie - i have been through this - if you trust your agent and feel she has given you good advice, then proceed with confidence. an agent wouldn't waste his or her time sending something out they don't feel is ready or good enough. you've done the work. with luck, it will sell on the first round. of course, there is always the second and third rounds if need be!

    good luck — and i look forward to seeing your book on shelves very soon!!

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  39. Oh, writers are such perfectionists! Or if we're not, we're taught to be in short order by the odds and stakes we face, but I'm willing to bet you are so ready to hit send! Since you think your agent is good (you got sage advice!), then trust that it's all good now.

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  40. I think we can all relate to those same fears. You have a healthy attitude and a great support system. Go for it, and keep us posted!

    Thanks for those links. I want to check out the one about famous authors' rejections.

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  41. I've had almost all of those fears at some time or other. Sounds like you are so ready to submit!

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  42. I've certainly felt fears, especially that I'm not good enough or that I'll fail. I love your pep talks. Click send! It sounds like you're ready. :)

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  43. This is awesome! You've just given me the best pep talk ever, addressing most of my fears!! Thanks :)

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  44. FEAR BEGONE!!!!

    (did it work???)

    Well, here's the deal. Your agent's gonna vet it, right? So forget the whole "not good enough" part. And if the agent thinks it's good enough to send, trust her.

    (((BIGGEST HUG))) I'm hoping nothing but good news for you, my friend! <3

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  45. Excellent post. Just remember your agent took you on for a reason, because they had faith in your writing. And also it's still early, errors can still be corrected, things can still be changed, so don't panic. Good luck!

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  46. Great post, Julie. You've done everything you can, and it's time to let it go. Your agent has faith in you, and you should too. Good luck!

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  47. Wow. I'm afraid of sending out queries, and I know it doesn't get any easier when you are agented. But you have come so far. As others have said, you are ready. You have put in your time and done the best of it. Let your agent do her job now. Best of luck!!

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  48. Great post Julie! I do have a fear to add to the list... When friends and family give praise and encouragement that squashes the fear of ridicule, I begin to fear that they are just being nice to keep from hurting my feelings.

    You have great pep talks that make perfect sense, and as everyone else has stated before me... Press send! Best of luck!

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  49. May I add a fear of my own?

    The trembling fear of being misunderstood.

    The "but that's not what I MEANT" fear.

    The "no, what I was REALLY saying was..." fear.

    Or, perhaps worst of all, the "What do you mean you (still) don't love my characters as much as I do?" fear.

    I've been where you are (with an editor). It is so hard to even contemplate changing your baby and then when it comes to sending it back, you think, "This is going to be even worse. What if s/he hates me after this revision and no longer wants to work with me?"

    Trust in your work and yourself. You've done good work, but you're never really finished. Breathe, and send it. Good luck.

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