The Big Fear: “What if it’s awful?”

Whether we like it or not, life is one big risk-taking venture. Yet fearing to fail is one reason most of us don’t try to do what we want to do. Who really wants to look like a fool?

Free Stock Photo: Closeup of business man burying head in hand.
Free Stock Photo: Closeup of business man burying head in hand.

So failure may be in the back of our mind. But I have usually found myself motivated to achieve something positive as being worth the risk of failing. I enjoy proving doubters wrong as well, and although I haven’t always succeeded on that score, whenever I have it has been a tremendously satisfying feeling.

I ventured into fiction-writing because I felt certain that if I put my back into it I could produce novels that would be solid reading. Now, though, I’ve moved my own goal posts. After three semi-biographical/ semi-autobiographical novels, the idea of trying something new within fiction is more than a bit intimidating, and even scary.

What if I mess up? Will I look ridiculous? I still don’t have even a working book title for the new book, but here’s the tentative first chapter title revealed here for the first time:

Screen capture of tentative first chapter title of the next novel.
Screen capture of tentative first chapter title of the next novel.

Again, I believe if I throw myself at it fully, it’ll be a good book. As a novelist, though, you are always particularly vulnerable. Aside from singers, and to a lesser extent actors (who can always blame lousy writing for a bad film or play), a writer ends up pretty far out there on a limb. All that you produce may be shredded pretty easily by any reviewer with a keyboard and an internet connection.

However, such is the inevitable risk if you choose to write. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to do it. Some readers will invariably love what you do, others will be lukewarm, others won’t like it, and still others will probably argue loudly that you should’ve chosen another line of work.

On that optimistic note, have a good Friday! The weekend is almost here! 🙂

6 thoughts on “The Big Fear: “What if it’s awful?”

  1. Yep, perhaps your subconscious is telling you that after “three semi-biographical/ semi-autobiographical novels” you Should be doing something, you know, Different?

    I wouldn’t worry so much what Other people think. Sometimes, I think writers are their own worst critics. Be assured, if you throw yourself into your project with passion, you Will like your work. And then, Others will. I know I did, at the age of 24 even though How It All Turned Out produced enough material for three semi-autobiographical novels Too, LOL.

    BTW, I like your first sample chapter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. (Glad you like the sample, too.) I find now that I always feel atrocious and bereft of confidence as I start a new manuscript – when it is (obviously) so “formless.” Over time, that changes. I’m sure it will again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. moi?
        If you have no motivation, don’t write.
        If you lack inspiration, it’ll come from somewhere, usually engagement with the subject.
        Now, time to really write. Instead of tweeting and blogging, that’s MY problem, sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

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