Shame In Finishing A Book

Or, the Anti-Book Finish.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got an interesting fear at play.

Dan Blank’s post on launching something caught my attention. As I read it, he commented about Miranda who was experiencing shame around her book launch. And I thought, “well, I’ve got a lot of shame.” At that moment, it was mostly about how the editing of my final draft was moving at a tepid pace and how I had been hiding from my blog because I didn’t want to admit that.

On the surface, much of this shame is about all the things I could be doing to put out the best book that I can and how I might not be doing all of them or all of them well. The interesting thing is that I have felt this consistent tension between creating my best book and completing my book. When I talk about this I say that I know I could keep improving the book, but I would rather have a couple of decent books on the shelf that people can read and be working on the third, than still be plugging away perfecting the first two years from now

Sounds good in theory. But then why am I still lagging?

Terror.

My first fear, as Dan put it in his post,  is that “this is your one shot, and if you mess it up, your potential is entirely used up.” With regard to BC1, it comes out as now that I’ve finished it, I have to finish book two. But what if I can’t really finish BC2? Worse yet, I have lots of other book ideas and some of them are actually decent. But I often think about the best couple as, Not Yet! because I’m afraid that I can’t make them my best work yet and more afraid of wasting them because I might not get better ideas later.

My second and larger fear is that “the beginning is also the end.” If I really finish the editing, make a book cover, finally pick a title, and put my book up for sale, I might find out that I really can’t do this. The this to which I refer is to have a career as a writer. It’s daunting to think about making that big of a leap.

The crazy thing is now that I’ve written all of this I suddenly remembered that my goal for BC1 was not make a living off of it. My goal was to publish a book and have some complete strangers buy it and read it. I’m smiling to myself because that’s a pretty achievable goal and when I think about that, I don’t feel nearly so afraid, overwhelmed, daunted, or .

Life is good. Back to baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. More writing tonight.

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2 responses to “Shame In Finishing A Book

  1. You know if you’re going to mention cookies in your blog you could at least include the recipe 😛

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