Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fear of Success

I finished the first draft of my novel on November 13, a little more than a month after I started writing it. It needs a lot of rewriting, but the bones are there. At this point, I'd be embarrassed if even my mom read it.

Still, like any aspiring author, I dream of it being a success, a best-seller made into a great movie. I would not be surprised if I failed, but I am scared of success. Failure means life will go on, while success could change everything.

I mostly think about the pressure successful writers feel to continue producing, of being marketable and profitable. Of initial success and subsequent failure. Public interest in my private life.

There is also wild success which is even more complicated, or failed success - being published and no one reading my book.

I do not want to self-promote. I am awkward in interviews, shy and nervous. I have no fashion sense and I'm overweight. Not that this affects the quality of my writing, but me, famous? I'd rather hide under my bed.

And maybe I'm just flattering myself, but it's in my nature to imagine as many possibilities as I can.

Just the thought of a public life makes me want to stop writing. Right now, I do it only for myself. I have no audience and no worries. Maybe I'll do the Emily Dickinson thing and just leave my stories behind when I go.

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