Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dare Greatly: Putting Your Book Out in the World

I don’t think anything makes you more crazy than writing a novel. In what other profession would it be acceptable and encouraged for you to be hearing voices in your head from your characters—encouraging them to talk to you? In what other job do you try to create and temporarily live in some other world? When writing a novel you go through this intensely personal experience for months or years, pouring words onto the page and crafting each word, each sentence, each page into something that you hope is great…or at least okay. The entire process drives you crazy. You don’t want to write maybe because it’s agony, but the even worse agony is not writing.

And then one day you realize that the time has come. Your novel is “done.” Or done for now. It’s time to let someone else read it and give you feedback. It’s time for it to go out into the world.

So you read it over one last time, making sure everything is how you want it—making sure you even like it at all. And this reading confirms it—you love it, you absolutely love it. You’re so proud of what you’ve done, that you’ve accomplished this. That you have just written—gasp—a book! So you go and have it printed up and you give it to those initial few close and trusted Beta Readers. You’re so excited for them to read it! You’ve been waiting months for this very moment!

But then when one of them says they’re about to start reading the first chapter, somehow the whole illusion shatters. “Wait!” you think. “Wait, you’re really going to do it? Now?” and suddenly, you’ve never been more unsure of yourself. "Oh gosh! It’s so horrible. Don’t read it," you think. "They're going to hate it, just hate it. They’re going to tell me it’s the worst thing ever and it doesn’t have any chance at ever being published!" And then what will all of those last few months of writing have been for?

The vulnerability and the doubt wash in, more powerful than ever, and leave you feeling like all you want to do is throw up. You sit anxiously by the phone, waiting for your Beta Readers to call--because surely they’ve read the first chapter by now and don’t they have something to say about it? Oh gosh, they probably haven’t called because it’s so bad and they don’t know how to break it to you. Don’t quit your day job they’re secretly thinking as you check to make sure you have reception for the hundredth time.

It’s incredibly hard to create something, to spend all the time and effort working on it. But it’s even harder to share it with the world. To embrace the vulnerability of it all and to put it out there for other people to read and critique. Because they may hate it. But there’s that chance that they won’t, that hope that maybe what you’ve done isn’t as horrible as you now think (after all—wasn’t it just a few hours ago you had decided you loved it?) and you’ll never know if what you’ve done is great or maybe someday could be great if you never put it out there and try.

"To create is to make something that has never existed before--there's nothing more vulnerable than that." ~ Brené Brown. So my good friend Victoria had told me to watch this TED Talk by Brené Brown a while back, but I finally got around to watching it yesterday and it was amazing—just what I needed to hear. It’s all about listening to shame and vulnerability and how the most successful people embrace vulnerability because it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. You should definitely check it out here. And one of the main takeaways I got was that those who “dare greatly” are the ones that embrace the vulnerability and dare to be courageous and put themselves out there. These are the people that can succeed because they have taken the risks. So here I am, daring greatly, and putting my book out there so that maybe I can become something more, so that I can learn and grow, and so that maybe I can create something that has never existed before.

And then you do get the call—They don’t hate it! They love it too! Phew, you sigh in relief for a moment. Maybe I was right to begin with. But then a few minutes later you’re back to….but what if they’re lying so they don’t hurt my feelings?! Basically…writers can never be sane about things like this, but you’ve still got to put your work out there and try. 

Do you like this post?

Subscribe by Email!

Follow me!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...