Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Frustrated at a higher level . . .

I just finished reading my friend, Elizabeth Boyle's most recent blog.

She is a New York Times Best Seller. She's won a RITA! (That's like winning an Oscar for a romance novelist). She's an Avon Super Leader with 13 titles to her credit. She writes inventive, fresh, sensual, witty historical romance. The kind of book other writers read and say to themselves, "Darn! I wish I'd written that!"

And she's fretting over her next release as if she were a debut author.

Heavy sigh. I keep hoping there will come a time when I can just write and not worry about promo or buy in or sell through. When I can get over my sense of inadequacy and enjoy my accomplishments.

What I'm seeing in my friends who are a little further along the publishing path than I am is that they are all still a bundle of self-deprecating nerves. We never think our writing's good enough. We never stop worrying. We always gloss over the stellar reviews and obsess about the luke-warm one. God forbid we get a bad one. That'll put us in a real tailspin.

So it appears I've chosen a career guaranteed to give me frown lines.

Unless I can find a way to enjoy the journey, to take my joys where I find them instead of worrying over the ones I fail to achieve. Once I type THE END, there are very few things I can do to insure the success of my book. And if I did all that people recommend to promote my work, I'd never find the time to write another.

I'd really love to hear from you. If you're a writer, how do you handle the dichotomy between expectation and reality? If you're a reader, did you have any idea writers were such neurotic messes? Any suggestions?

And oh, yes, while I'm stressing, let me remind you about MY current release, PLEASURING THE PIRATE, available at your bookstore now or at Amazon! Shiver me timbers, I'd admire a good sell-through! Aarg!


Barb H said...

How surprising to know that well-published, well-reviewed, excellent writers still worry about the next book (AND the current one).

Many of us hopeful authors belived that once the first book is on shelves, our names in beautiful, bold print there on the cover, that our writing days are "made."

Then we hear that someone as good as Elizabeth Boyle and Emily Bryan still worry about getting the next story together--and having it accepted--Wow! What a revelation.

EmilyBryan said...

Sorry, Barb. I didn't mean to shatter any illusions.

I've been surprised by many things since my debut novel. The most amazing one is my own reaction to being published. I really expected the validation of seeing my name on the cover to cure my basic insecurity.

No such luck. But the fact that we writers obsess so over our work is good in a way. It means we'll never take our readers for granted. We'll never offer less than our best, even if we fret that our best still isn't good enough.

So we'll continue to toss our hearts out there. And hope someone picks them up.