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Newbie writer nerves

As next weekend approaches, I find myself becoming nervous.

SO excited, but also, very nervous.

You see the anthology release is next week at Au Contraire in Wellington. A Foreign Country. A book with my story in it. A story I think is great.

That said, I am well aware of the fact that it is not an easy story, certainly not a comfortable story for some. I’m well aware of the kinds of thoughts it might bring to peoples minds. It’s not a story that people are going to love, even if it is a fairly well written story. Even if I love it (while still, after all this time, feeling somewhat uncomfortable about the fact I wrote it), even though I am proud of it. Even though after the first draft I knew it was a story I’d see in print.

It’s simply not an easy story to read, or love.

I’m repeating to myself that someone else saw the merit in it. Someone else thought it was worthy of inclusion. I wholeheartedly believe it is as well.

But my parents are getting copies of the book. My in laws. Friends, other family members.

For the first time I’m stopping to think about how they will respond to it.

I have no idea what they might expect from a story I wrote – I’m certainly not sure that Birth Rights is it! lol many of my family who are going to read it have read other stories I’ve written, but to be perfectly honest, I write quite differently now than I did 3 years ago when I was just starting to get serious about this writing thing. The content is different, the style is different. I’m a different person in so many ways, and my writing reflects that.

And that’s not even thinking about what the people who don’t know me personally might think…

It’s going to be interesting!

I do have to wonder though – will I still get this nervous feeling about how the audience will respond to my work 5 stories down the track? 10? 20? Any thoughts on that?

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15 thoughts on “Newbie writer nerves”

  1. First of all – congratulations! I think it is completely normal to be nervous about what other people will think, especially family. My problem is to get them out of my head when I’m writing in the first place. I sometimes edit on the basis of so and so reading it. Not good.

    So enjoy and soak it all in. People will think what they think. What’s important is that you are proud of the piece.

    1. Thanks, Julie. Strangely, mine aren’t in my head when I’m writing! that would definitely make things a bit trickier. I always write the first drafts just for me, because I want to, because I like the story – after that, I might take other people into consideration πŸ˜‰ I think if you are working to sell a piece to any target audience, you do have to write (or edit) with those people in mind, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing, providing you’re staying true to the story.

  2. I don’t have much to add, except a) congratulations again!, b) I’ve been missing you lately, so I wanted to say hi!, and c) I agree with Julie – people will think what they think, and as long as you’re proud of it you shouldn’t feel ashamed if they think otherwise.

    Also, though I don’t know from experience, I would guess it gets easier the more you’re published. The fact that 5, 10, 20, or more entities saw fit to publish your writing would probably be enough of a confidence boost to at least neutralize the fear that it won’t be well received. Just a theory, though, since I don’t know from experience.

    πŸ™‚

    1. I certainly hope that’s the case! *hugs* miss you too πŸ™‚ thank you for stopping by.

      I think that you should only ever submit things you are proud of, that way you can only feel good about where you’re at as a writer.

  3. I’m excited about getting hold of this and don’t have any expectations – just feel lucky enough to be related to a published author LOL I don’t thing about the author when I read – if the story is one that speaks to me, it is the story that I am thinking about – the author comes into it when I decide to see what else I can find of theirs. I also don’t mind being unsettled – moved out my usual paradigm, like the unusual, like to be provoked into thinking in new ways – and I think lots of reader are like that too.
    Also, if I don’t like a story, I don’t attach that to the author in a personal way – just figure they are writing story for an audience that isn’t me.

    PS – Soooo pleased you are getting enough moments to get back into blogging too!

    1. Me too, Mum πŸ™‚ it makes me feel like things are getting closer to normal again.

      Glad you don’t attach thoughts on the story to the author, I think you’ll probably enjoy it more than Dad!

  4. I got to read an early draft of this story and though I can understand your apprehension about what people who know you might be expecting you to write it is a fabulously thought-provoking story. I CANNOT wait until my copy arrives and I am SO jealous that I can’t be at Au Contraire for A Foreign Country and SpecFicNZ.

    1. I wish I could be there too, it would have been awesome! I’ve decided I’m attending next years Con tho πŸ™‚ Can’t wait til you’re back in the country so we can hit one up together.
      Thanks for the comments on the story as well, ‘thought provoking’ is definitely a good thing in my books! Or stories… haha

  5. Cassie, I know what you mean. When I wrote TimeSplash, I really didn’t think about publication at all – not in any concrete way, just, you know, vague musings about all the glamour, the parties, the champagne…

    Now that it is out there, people are finding it: people I used to work with, one-time neighbours, odd relatives of mine and my wife’s, people whose reaction to the book I had never for a moment considered. And, as each one crops up, their opinion is suddenly very real and very personal. It’s as if I have been put alone in a room with that person – an ex-boss, an out-of-touch friend, the lady at the post office – and handed them a document describing something intimate and rather embarrassing about myself, and then I have to watch as they read it and wait for their response.

    I can’t see this peculiar state of affairs becoming any less fraught or awkward with time, but there will come a point when everyone who is ever going to, will have popped out of the woodwork and read my book.

    1. lol you made me smile a lot with this post, sounds like you know exactly how I’m feeling! Although I imagine with a novel, it’s about ten times worse than a short story.

      I can only hope that it DOES get better over time, but as you say, even if it doesn’t, eventually everyone who has something to say will have said it – and I guess if it was negative, they won’t come back for seconds so you won’t have to hear from them again!

  6. first – how exciting!!! congrats!!!!!

    and yes, yes, yes. Well at least I do, with each and every thing that goes to print (be it ss or article – especially articles because there are more readers.) The first time a stranger at an event commented on a short I was flabbergasted, the first time an acquaintance as well……it makes me so nervous I just don’t think about it. lol

    Good luck – I’m certain you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the response.

    1. I think I’ll work with the ‘just not thinking about it’ thing next time πŸ™‚ I certainly hope I’ll be surprised, pleasantly!

      And thanks πŸ™‚ man, I am buzzing out about it = launch day today!

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