Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Moment of Clarity: The Fear of Making It

When one reads writing blogs (or blogs written by writers. Or dinosaur bloggers. You know, whichever.) one usually looks for witty, possibly self-deprecating, yet still smart and edgy writing. The sort of writer you wish you could go meet up at a bar and learn all their secrets  make friends with. And when you read their blogs they're usually filled with sarcasm, good advice, and probably a really expensive web page design. 

When you read mine you get....er....a mild form of that.We can't all start off geniuses of comedy, now can we? But this is not a post about what sort of blogger you like to read. This is a post about my Moment of Clarity. That moment that I think a lot of writers eventually come to. Some call it a nervous break down, some call it another day at work. I call it "holy crap so that's what's been wrong with me!" 

I generally have a terrible problem with procrastination. Like, really terrible. Like, if I were in a race with the tortoise I'd still lose. But lately I'd found myself unable to write and paralyzed with fear when I think about the future. So after two weeks of this paralyzing fear I sat myself down in front of Pinterest (like the good procrastinator/avoider that I am) and began looking at things I wanted; like a house in the woods, or a new kitchen. And then it hit me. I wasn't afraid of failing as a writer, like I'd thought. 

I was afraid of being successful. 

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!?
You could have pushed me over with a speck of dust. I was floored at this thought that came crashing through my brain. I was scared of MAKING IT. Why? Here I'd thought that it was the fear of rejection--the fear of people telling me 'no', or having to self publish. In reality, in the cold light of day, I'm afraid of success. I'm afraid of the responsibility popularity would bring. That money would bring. Taxes (ugh who has time for that!?), writing more content, WRITING. The exhausting--so I've heard--work of whoring yourself out networking all over the internet.

Change. 

Most people don't like change, not in big ways. 

Is this a normal reaction? Yes. Yes it is.


We need it in little doses that Mary Poppins feeds us. Every once in a while I realize I need to shake up my world and do something drastic. Like go to Europe for a month by myself with 400 dollars in my pocket. Or chop off my hair. But writing and becoming poplar? That's a big social and life change that I didn't realize was scaring me. I was afraid of a future where I'd be....known. Of course as a writer that IS what you hope for. And don't lie and say it's not. 

Most writers love writing and creating worlds, yes, but we want people to see them and love them (and by extension, us) as much as we do. We want our words and ourselves to be remembered. And in this digital age of YouTube, Skype, and FB, your ACTUAL face and not just your work, will be immortalized. So remember that. Scary isn't it?

I'm in the unique and very lucky position of having extremely talented friends in the art and writing world to help and support me should I chose to self publish. As in, that's what they do for a living for big name companies and are happy to provide me free service (how the hell I got that lucky, I don't know).

Look at those friends supporting me with alcohol and stuff!
So it'd be easy--in fact, easier--to self publish. But I wanted to get the 'yes, you're a talented writer and we want YOU and all your glorious stories' from an Online Publishing house. I want the recognition. 

But I'm scared of the change. I'd promised myself I'd move to Japan while supporting myself on writing. But to do that I need to not be afraid of the future. The changes actually making it (I mean that in a 'I can afford to live on my own' sense, not in a JK Rowling famous sense.) entails and all the responsibility that goes with it. 

So how about you guys? Have you ever reached this conclusion? Or was it something else that kept you from finishing your novel or sending it to an agent or online publishing house? What was YOUR Moment of Clarity? 

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