Do Something that Scares You

Almost a year ago, I began writing my first novel. I intended to create a blog simultaneously as part of my author’s platform (that all-important self-marketing tool agents, editors, and writing magazines always trumpet).

Fast-forward 322 days: I’ve handed off my manuscript to beta readers, researched potential agents and editors, drafted a query letter, outlined my next novel, written two short stories and one personal essay, cataloged my writing magazines, reorganized my closet, cleaned the dishes, vacuumed, dusted…

Okay, I watch a little TV now and then, too. Who can resist Downton Abbey and Criminal Minds?

The glaring omission, of course, is starting a blog. The reason behind this struck me after I read a wonderful article in the Sept. 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest entitled “Ten Ways to Harness Your Fear and Fuel Your Writing”.

Writing a blog terrifies me.

I’m afraid of harsh comments—or worse yet, no comments. I’m afraid people will laugh at my typos and less-than-perfect grammar (I’m a writer, after all, shouldn’t my prose be flawless).

Mostly, I’m afraid no one will want to read what I write, that my lowly blog will float in cyberspace like a drifting ball of meteoric rock eclipsed by the billions of stars already out there shinning.

Put plainly, I’m afraid of failure.

In the afore-mentioned article, author Sage Cohen offers good advice. She recommends sitting with your fear,  evaluating it. Is it really likely to do you grave harm?

Well…attempting this blog certainly won’t maim or kill me. It won’t induce my friends and family to abandon me (though it may try their indulgence). It won’t land me on the FBI watch-list.

At worst, I will suffer a bruised ego and a less clean house.

When I cast off reason and quit my job last March, I did so to embraced a better (albeit poorer) me. I decided thirty was too young to settle. Any age is too young to settle! That means taking risks and staring down fears.

So, today I’m doing something that scares me. I’m starting this blog about writing, reading, and the journey to reshape my life into a happy, meaningful, beneficent existence.

I may never sell a single novel. My blog may wallow in obscurity. Still, I’m better for the attempt. I’ve always loved the Tennyson quote “Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”

And this is a labor of love, so here goes!

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25 thoughts on “Do Something that Scares You

  1. So far, your blog is awesome. 😉 You’re funny and inspiring. I expect all that follows to be equally entertaining.
    Also, I’m super impressed you’re conquering you’re fear because putting your work out there for others is hard enough let alone putting it on the world wide web.
    Good job Amanda!!

  2. Nice Mandy… I will totally read your blog… and your novel whenever it comes out (which I totally look forward to happening sometime in the future)!

    • Keeping my fingers crossed I’ll be able to find an agent. I’ll keep the blog updated with my progress. Just found out a short story of mine will be published in a local anthology – so at least I’m making some headway into writing world. Miss you!

  3. Wonderful writing–can’t wait to see your book. Maybe sometime you’ll be doing a book signing at Jesse’s book store? Who is your audience for your novel? Tell us about the anthology your story where your story will be published. Congratulations!

    • Hey! Cannot wait until I’m actually doing book signings! I’ve heard you can even do digital book signings now. I still have a long way to go, though. My novel is a fantasy (I would put it in the sub-genre of romantic fantasy, medieval fantasy, and/or heroic fantasy). My target audience is adults; some of the themes/overtones are a little dark for YA. I imagine women will like it more than men, but I did not write it exclusively for women. My husband & my dad liked it, but undoubtedly they’re biased…

      I’ll post about my short story soon. It’s a anthology of local writers that includes both fiction & nonfiction pieces. My story is a historical fiction about the nuclear test site here in Southern Nevada.

      Thanks so much for your interest in my work! I really appreciate your support and encouragement!!

  4. Revealing my ignorance of the writer’s world: What happens to your short story after it’s published in the “local anthology”? Are print and electronic distribution of your story kept separate? Does Mr. Local Anthology own the copyright after publication… can Mr. Local Anthology re-publish it at will (electronically)? Can you sell it to some one else? Can you even give it away… like post it here for your friends to enjoy? I’m delighted that you are sharing your creativity with us…sharing is great…. but at the end of this adventure, I think it would be fun if you were excessively disgustingly wealthy.

    • Literary contracts are confusing. There are many different rights an author can retain or give away with publication. I have to speak with the publisher, but I believe I relinquished all rights to my story (print, electronic, and subsidiary-movie, TV, audio, etc). Usually, the more rights an author retains the better, but right now I’m just trying to build up my publishing credentials. Herein lies the benefit of an agent (I will be seeking an agent shortly to represent my novel). They often have a keener understanding of contracts and help the author retain more of their rights.

      Under Fair Use of the copy right law, I could post a small excerpt of my story on my blog, that is all.

      It would be fun to become excessively, disgustingly wealthy!! Here’s hoping!! But, I’ll settle for a very modest living if it means I can be a full time writer.

  5. So far I love your blog! I don’t believe you’re on twitter though. I guess you have to be, sigh 🙂 It will so nice to be kept posted on what is going on with your work.

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