The fear of starting...
I have wanted to write books for years. I don't remember exactly when I got the idea that I could be a writer, a real writer who makes money and spends my days at my antique writing desk while sipping coffee and creating masterpieces. But the idea has been with me for so long, it's like I was born with it. It just is.
I haven't made tons of money as a writer yet, and as I get ready to publish my first short erotic romance fiction story on Amazon, I thought I should write about the fear that has kept this dream deferred.
I have a day job, which I will not share what my day job is, as it is definitely not what you would expect an erotic romance writer to do full-time, but who's expectation is that I guess would be the question. I work in education and I think my colleagues would definitely frown upon the stories I like to write. So who cares? Because I know a lot of them probably secretly read stories just like mine in their free time.
Not to get away from the point, but my day job keeps me busy and I haven't had a lot of time to perfect my craft, which obviously, I want to create a high caliber product for readers to enjoy. That is what this is all about. This notion brings me to my next point about fear. The question is always there, "What if I'm not good enough?" However, in my head, it's not so much a question as it is a statement. "You are not good enough."
In an effort to respond to my internal criticism and creativity crippling fear, I started an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program, which I love. It is a low-residency program which means, for two weeks a year, I get to escape to a castle on a hill and just be a writer.
I really wanted to write this blog post as my first blog post because as a writer just starting out, I've been craving knowledge about how other writers got started. So here it goes. The secret to starting, to getting past devastating, somewhat irrational, but very real fear is to write and research.
Not much of a secret it turns out, but it is the truth. It took me a long time, but here are the steps I believe that have gotten me to where I am today, which is at the very beginning of my writing journey.
1. I joined writing communities where I would meet other writers who knew much more than I did about being a successful writer. (ie. MFA program and also SCBWI).
2. I continued to write. (I haven't written as much as I should have or as consistently, but I did write and finally started finishing things.)
3. I started listening to self-publishing and writing podcasts. I learned a lot about what to try and how to start marketing myself.
4. I created a website, book covers, social media accounts and I started following writers.
5. Lastly, I wrote this blog post to share my experience because I think by being honest with myself, I am able to take another step forward.
I am going to continue to document my journey because I believe that even if you aren't a writer, there are dreams you have that are deferred. It is time for you to let them explode into something meaningful.