I’ll let you in a little secret but you have to promise not to tell anyone. I am terrified of this weekends writing workshop. It is a one day workshop where if I pay attention I should learn to “Hook readers with the first five pages of your novel, Avoid common novel manuscript errors, Write a query letter that will get the attention of an agent and Find the right agent”.
The work shop is provided by Wendy Tokunaga, Author of “Midori by Moonlight” and “Love in Translation” (http://www.wendytokunaga.com).
Now you might think the word “terrified” a bit strong for a fun weekend in Halfmoon Bay with fellow future published authors (see how I assume we will all be published….DONT tell me the statistics, I don’t wanna know!). The truth is this is something I have never done before. I am submitting my story to perfect strangers who don’t know me, don’t love me and don’t have any reason to gloss over the truth.
The what ifs paralyze me. What if they call me an amateur, hack, wanna be…the words circle around my brain. What if they laugh at me. What if my work is far inferior to the other writers. What if, what if, what if
What if, this weekend changes a hobby and relaxing past time into something more? When I was writing for the enjoyment, it was easy. Words flowed onto my laptop effortlessly. It didn’t matter if my stories had typos and grammatical errors because I was doing it for me and my friends. But now I have taken my family’s precious resources (MONEY) and funneled out towards my writing. I have invested in my writing. And it is my duty to see that this money is indeed an investment and not a waste. Duty puts a heavy weight to a weekend by the ocean. There is in me a fear. A fear of rejection. A fear of failure. A fear of success. A fear of becoming something more.
Several weeks ago I wrote this piece on the thinkingten.com website.
Fear of Falling
I should have seen it coming. My history had predicted what would happen next as it always did. It was why I hadn’t wanted to try in the first place.
It was not the fear of failure that held me back. Failure was easy. It changed nothing. Failure allowed me to stay where I was comfortable.
But those who loved me would not let me stay in the safety of my average life. Always pushing, always prodding, they would tell me I could do it.
But always there was the fear, the fear of success. Success brings with it change and often happiness.
And with happiness the vultures and demons of life would come and steal it all away.
I should have seen it coming, it had happened a thousand times before.
Why couldn’t they see that a fall only hurts when you’re soaring high.
It was safer on the ground.