Last week, I asked my Instagram and Facebook readers to post questions about my books, characters, writing schedule, process, or whatever. Every Monday, I’m going to answer a question here on the blog! Last week, I talked about my writing schedule and reflected on 2019. You can read that here if you’re interested.
Let’s jump into this week’s question!
“Did you ever fear that no one would like your writing? Basically, just having insecurities about it.”Katie from Facebook
Yes, absolutely. It’s terrifying to put yourself and your work out there. Jake, my husband, didn’t even know I liked to write until we were married for several years. It’s just not something I openly shared with people when I was younger.
I continued with my stories in secret, dreaming of one day holding my very own book. Once I finished Pippa of Lauramore, I gave it to Jake and asked/ordered/begged him to read it. (He was thrilled to dive into my fantasy romance, let me tell you.) A few days later, he said something incredible. He thought it was good—a little heavy on the romance for his personal tastes, but it was like…an actual book. He was astonished, and I was too excited to be offended. Ha!
I sent it to my mom, and then my stepsister after that. When they liked it, I ventured forth to have it edited. This thing was becoming real.
Desperate for more feedback before I published, I ordered about thirty paperbacks and gave them out to friends and family. I can honestly tell you that was awful—it was beyond terrifying.
But the feedback was mostly positive, and it gave me the courage to get Pippa out there. I quickly learned that some people will like your style…and others won’t. That’s okay. You can’t please everyone, and you can’t let it discourage you.
Even now, twenty-some books later, I still worry. Maybe this book won’t be as good as the others; maybe it’s too fluffy/angsty/ridiculous/whatever. How do I fight that gnawing doubt? Jake always reads my books first—except my contemporaries because he flat-out refuses—and my mom gets them next. Because they are so close to me, their criticism doesn’t hurt as much. After that, I fix what I can, and then I just have to let the book go.
Those few days after a release, while I wait for the first of the reviews to come in, are still really hard. There’s chocolate involved. Usually Starbucks too. I’m not sure I’ll ever banish the fear completely. I think it’s just part of the job—but that’s okay. Because it’s an awesome job.
If you have a story to share with people, I hope you will take the leap. Don’t let fear hold you back!
Have a great week, everyone! I’ll talk to you soon.
Wishing you the best,