I’ve discovered that the closer I get to finishing my book (editing wise) the harder it is to work on it. I know in the long run I’m far from done. I still need to send it to my beta-readers and take in their suggestions, and that will take some time. But the thought of finally finishing what’s taken me a year to complete is scary, because when I’m done, what am I going to do? And even worse, what if my readers hate what I’ve done? What if I’ve wasted a whole year on something unreadable/unlikable/unpublishable?
First things first, I need to calm down. I can sit here and ponder on the “what if’s,” or I can finish what I feel like is something great, and move on to the next thing. Maybe it will snag me an agent, and maybe it won’t. That doesn’t change the fact that I am a writer. Writers are brave. I am brave.
When you think about it, you realize writing is dangerous territory. You’ve put a piece of yourself on paper, and now it’s time for it to be read, judged, marked on in red ink, and who knows what else. Maybe it will be hated. Maybe it will be loved. Either way, that nauseous feeling in your gut doesn’t ever go away completely.
Because even when the beta-reader process is over, soon it’ll be sent to agents (and maybe more beta-readers), and then to publishers, and then to the world. And some people will hate it. They will think it’s the worst book they’ve ever read. They may even *gasp* write a bad review of it on Amazon.
But some people will love it. Yes, a few of those people will be friends and family, but there will be strangers, too. They will talk about it in literature circles. They will use it for their book report. And in extreme cases, they’ll name their newborn after your main character.
That lost feeling of not knowing what to write, that sickening feeling of people judging your work, that anxiety as you wonder whether your next piece will be as good. Those are all part of your art, and they all make art beautiful.
If writing were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing. There is beauty in the struggle, whatever stage of it you’re in. Embrace it and use it to your advantage.
After all, art is a miracle.