I’ve always been a big dreamer. As a little kid, I wanted to be an Olympic ice-skater, though I never even set foot on a skating rink until I was 8. Ever since I started writing, I’ve dreamed of becoming a big-name author, of having my books adapted into movies and tv shows, of readers discussing my characters like they’re real live people.
Lately, I’ve been struggling creatively. There are so many things I want my books to be, and I’m never satisfied with where I’m at with them–whether it’s because I’m afraid my stories will sink into relative obscurity because it’s so hard to be discovered nowadays, or because I fear I will never, ever write as well as my writing heroes (populated by folks like Brandon Sanderson, Cornelia Funke, Veronica Roth, Neil Gaiman, Eric Kripke, and Steven Moffatt.)
I feel as if I’m watching my dreams slip through my fingers.
Really, none of this is in my control. And I have a hard time explaining all of this–because it sounds like I want money and fame, when really, all I care about is writing amazing stories that people love. I’ve always loved sharing my stories with people. I feel paralyzed by the fear that I will publish my stories and no one will read them. That they’ll die slow deaths, never to be recommended to others. Never to have people exclaim over my characters like I exclaim over Kaladin and Shallan and Dean and Sam and Tris and Four and the Ponds. Never to be brought onto the screen for even more people to enjoy.
This is what I’m scared of. This is what haunts my nightmares nowadays. This is what keeps me from finishing up my stories and sending them out there into the world.
I know it’s silly. But my creative side won’t let me settle. It’s hard for me to accept that I just have to finish a book, get it out there, and move on. I feel like there should be something I can do…but beyond writing the best story I can, to the best of my ability, I don’t think there is, no matter how many times I see articles on Facebook and Pinterest about the latest marketing gimmick.
That doesn’t sit well with me. But it’s the truth of the writing world right now.
Well, I’m definitely not giving up. I can be remarkably stubborn, so I know I’m going to keep head-butting against this problem, even if it drives me crazy. It’s a hard line to walk, between being content where you are, yet not settling and always striving for something better.