June 3, 2018

a professional worrier

Blogger's Note: After months and months of lackluster to dismal writing, I needed to shake-up my non-routine. So I'm challenging myself to write and share a new blog post every day in June in hopes it will reinvigorate my writing process. Posts will vary in content, theme and length. The point is to write every day! You can read the story behind #junewriter here.

As a writer, I'm always worried.

I worry that people won't read my stories. I worry they will, and they'll hate them. I worry they'll like one, but never like another. I worry I'll disappoint. I worry I'll screw up.

I worry that I'll go broke on this publishing venture. That I won't even break even, and this will truly be a vanity project. I worry my credit card debt will grow worse, and I'll resent this career that I've always wanted to build.

I worry about whether or not my characters are fully developed. I worry they won't be likeable. And I worry that even if I embrace them not being likeable, they won't at the very least be interesting and readable.

I worry that I'm not able to find the right words to tell the story the way I've envisioned it in my head. If I can't do that, how can I probably tell the story? If I can't properly tell the story, how will a reader be able to understand it? Which takes me back to that other worry about people not reading and hating it.

Sometimes, I worry I'll never finish writing another book. Actually, right now, I always worry about that. (Which is why I'm doing this blogging challenge, right?)

That barely scratches the surface of everything I worry about. It probably comes as no surprise if you're a regular reader, that I worry. All. The. Time. The worst part about it? The more I worry about anything, the more reason I have to worry, because the worry has become debilitating. I'm sure it's the source of many of my problems. I'm so worried about so many aspects of the writing process, I end up giving myself even more to worry about.

But maybe if I acknowledge those worries, I can move on from it?

Right now, I'm worried about the story that's gone to my editor. I'm worried she'll find lots of issues. I'm worried she'll hate it. I'm worried that even after she does a beautiful job editing, other people won't like it. I'm worried I didn't tell the story the way it deserved to be told. I'm worried I won't publish, distribute, or market it correctly.

I'm worried about the book I'm writing. I'm worried specifically about this scene. Because the characters feel like cartoons in this important moment, and I'm not sure how to write it any other way. I'm worried I'll never get past this scene and never write another. I'm worried I'll skip this and end up being stuck here again later. And even once I get passed all this, if I get passed all this, I worry about all the other aspects I'll have to worry about like editing, and pleasing, and marketing, and so on.

I'm worried I'll never get started on the next book. Or the next. I'm worried that if I do, people still won't read them. And I worry that'll be the end of my angsty career as a tormented writer. That I'll spend the rest of my life worrying about the stories I'm not telling, because I'm too worried.

I worry I'm not worried enough. I'm worried I'm not worrying about the right parts of the process.

I'm about twenty minutes away from worrying I won't get enough sleep, which makes me worried I won't have the energy to write tomorrow. And I'm worried I'll once again be writing and posting one of my daily pieces by the hair on my chinny chin, chin.

I'm worried I'll be sued by whoever owns the rights to "The Three Little Pigs" because I totally swiped that line from them. I'm worried no one owns the rights to it. I'm worried I don't know who came up with the story.

Last week I blogged about fear. Worry plays into it. Yesterday I blogged about gratitude. The worry plays into that too, honestly. I worry to the point of being afraid. I worry I'm not grateful enough. I'm worried what I have could go away.

Worry, worry, worry.

Now I'm worried about something even more troubling than the worries about my stories and sleep cycle. I'm worried I don't know how to end this post. Because there's no epiphany. There's no conclusion. I live with the worry. It's possible it makes me better, because it means I care. It's possible it makes me worse, because I let it have too much control. Where does it end? I don't know. But now I'm worried about that too.

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