bigstockphoto_Ego_Grunge_4301832The artistic process requires a certain degree of confidence. You have to be willing to try. Willing to put your whole self into a project and willing to fail, recover, and try again.

Writing, whether you’re writing romance, literary fiction, or a technical guide, requires that you let go of your fears just enough that you can attack your writing project with passion and enthusiasm.

Good enough, right? You can get through those “What ifs…” (For example, what if my writing sucks) and focus on the work at hand.

But once the project is complete there’s another weighty and terrifying task ahead of you. What do you do with the finished product?

If you’re a romance writer then you have one of two options:

  • Submit it to every agent and publisher on the planet.
  • Publish it yourself

Both come with their own fears and insecurities. If you submit to agents then you’re most certainly going to hear, “no thank you, it’s not right for us.” Which, you will undoubtedly hear as “no thanks, your writing sucks.”

If you decide to publish yourself, as I have because I’m an impatient perfectionist who wants my story to be told my way, not some random editor’s way, you face the often overwhelming fear of public ridicule. Once you make that announcement that your book is out there and people start buying it, you have reviews to deal with and sales to watch. It’s unnerving and drives me to want to self-medicate every single time I publish something.

Just the other day I announced that Cheating Time was available on Amazon and soon to be at Barnes & Noble etc… People came out of the woodwork to tell me how excited they were and that they couldn’t wait to read it. My gut reaction was, “No, don’t read it. Never mind. I’m going to unpublish it.” Of course I didn’t say or do that but I thought “Crap. Now I’ve done it. Everyone will know I’m a total fraud who cannot string a sentence together let alone a story.”

Yes, my dear writer friends. This is the angst that even seasoned writers experience on a consistent basis.

So how do you deal with it?

I talk about it with other writers. I laugh at myself because ultimately the worst thing that could happen is that people think my book sucks. I don’t think it sucks, in fact I like it and I’m glad I wrote it. But the best thing to do to get over it…

…write another book!

Whether you’re dealing with the anxiety over sending your book to agents and editors or you’re dealing with the angst from publishing a book, the best way to get past it is to find something fun and interesting to focus on and dive wholeheartedly into that new project.