So. It’s done. For now, at least.
And I read through it. For the 415th time.
And guess what? I don’t think it’s that great.
All the doubts start to creep in: Who would read this? This part is too theological. This part is too boring. Spiritual memoirs are a dime a dozen nowadays. I should have written more about ______ and less about ______. Why did I ever think this was good?
I have sent it to a handful of friends to read for me. But I know they will tell me it’s not good. I know it.
And guess what else? I did it all backwards. For non-fiction, you’re supposed to write a book proposal first, not the entire manuscript. Now I could tell you that I intended to write the book first, you know, because I needed to know what I was going to write about before I could pitch a great book proposal. That would make me sound super clever and cool, right? But actually, I just didn’t know. I hadn’t researched things like finding an agent and queries and proposals and publishers. I just wanted to write my story. And it turns out that what I just said above was true. Now that it’s written, I have a much better idea of what to put in my book proposal.
But y’all. A book proposal is no joke. It’s super intense. So now I have the daunting task of writing a book proposal. Where I have to talk about my platform. My platform, which I stopped caring about almost a year ago. My platform, which consists of this little blog that gets less than 100 hits a day most days and consists of my infrequent tweets. I have to talk about how I will market my book. What? That’s MY job? I have to talk about my audience and my genre and why a book like this fits in the market but also why mine is unique to the market. Then, before I can even submit the proposal, I have to submit a query. Then, if I’m lucky, they want the proposal. Then, if I’m more lucky, they want the book.
I don’t have the stamina for this.
I just can’t.
I want to cry.
Let me just give this up, please. Let me throw in the towel and move on. Let me forget this stupid manuscript and stupid book proposal and either move on to another one or just move on from writing all together. Let me just focus on the rest of my life. Let me just have my job, which I like most of the time, and I’ll be good. Let me just have my little family, the ones I care for every day, and I’m fine. Let me have my friends, who have been getting neglected, if truth be told. I don’t need to be published. I don’t need to write. I am tired of this. I am tired of always fighting – fighting to find the time to write, fighting to write something decent during those small windows of time, fighting against the writer’s block and the absence of words, fighting to write something that somebody will read and value, fighting to get my work out there and make a name for myself.
Let me stop fighting.
Let me give up.
Let me let go of this.
* * * * *
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death . . . . Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do . . . Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – Steven Pressfield, from The War of Art
I’m sure your book is good and I am anxious to read it.
Also we heard about your Dad and will be praying for him.
I’ve had most of those same fears and feelings at one time or another, Karissa. I think most writers have. Allow yourself to pitch a fit and have a pity party and then strap your courage back on and keep going. While your meta readers are reading the manuscript, take a deep breath and work on your marketing plan. Think of it as a brand new and exciting project, with a life of its own. Almost separate from the book, which it is. Writing the book is art. Marketing it is just another part of the business. Have fun with it!
I am really excited about reading it!
Yes, I know all those feelings. They are part of my internal family.