Often times writers worry about their writing. Worrying in itself isn’t horrible, but sometimes the anxiety and doubt a writer has about his writing takes over. Questions like if his novel is ever going to get published, if he’s going to be successful, or if everything he’s doing is just a big waste of time become predominant. And as those questions and doubt crowd his mind, he may never send out his manuscript or may abandon a work in progress.
Don’t stop writing. Don’t let anxiety and doubt take control. So much of the concern writers get stems from misconceptions.
- Failure isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it hurts, but you can move past failure and learn from it. Fitzgerald and Melville both faced multiple failures during their lives, but they’re considered two of the greatest writers of their age.
- Failure doesn’t mean your work sucks. Just because not everyone loves your writing doesn’t mean you can’t write. There will always be people who love your novel, and others who don’t. Think of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Though Rowling got an agent quickly, twelve publishing houses rejected her novel. It was a year later when she got a publishing house, and even then she was told to get a day job because she’d never make any money being a children’s author.
Failure can sometimes feel like you’re never going to make it. Don’t let it stop you. Keep writing, go to workshops, join a critique group, etc.
Agents and publishers aren’t all knowing.
- Agents and publishers like to believe they know everything. I’ve even seen some of them say they know what the next bestseller will be. The deals publishing houses make are pretty much a direct correlation with how well they believe your novel will sell. However, publishing history is filled with rejections and huge advances for novels that never sold well. Publishing houses guard their sales statistics, and tend to only share their success stories. The truth is, publishing houses lose money on books every year. And have you looked at some of the authors agents represent? Most of them aren’t wildly successful with bestsellers. If agents and publishers knew the market, they’d all be representing bestsellers.
The bottom line is that the market is unpredictable. Agents and publishers do have experience in the publishing world, but they can’t read readers’ minds and the market is constantly changing.
Every writer, at some point, doubts their work. Anxiety comes with being a writer. The key is to push through despite the worry, and to improve without letting uncertainty get in the way.
Perseverance is the key to success.
How do you deal with anxieties surrounding your writing?