Life is about Choices, Take a Chance…

chancesI thought I’d chat today about choices. I have seen so many people in my 40+ years remain in jobs they dislike out of fear of never finding another one, I’ve seen writers leave all their ideas hidden in their computers for fear of people laughing at them, I’ve seen heavy people stay in their homes and hide from the world because of the fear of ridicule.

Fear is all around us. Cooking for friends- what if you screw it up and everyone hates what you make? Throwing a party – what if no one comes? Falling in Love – the risk of being hurt.

For whatever beliefs you hold, the fact is, you go through this particular life just once. You can hide from the world, or you can live it. The trick is to take that fear and shelve it.

I’m not going to lie – publishing all my books is terrifying, even now. I mean it, it’s terrifying when you hit that publish button. It’s terrifying sending first drafts to my editor, or a beta reader. What if they hate them? No one likes to be upset, no one likes to be embarrassed, no one likes criticism, and certainly no one likes to be laughed at.

But, life is about chances. You need to look in yourself and decide if that chance is worth it for your own personal growth. I’ve written two books that right now are pretty much done and sitting in my computer for years. Both are Dark Romantic Suspense books but I have not put them out to the world. Why? Because they are violent and sexually charged books. Different than my regular more tame Adult thrillers, Horror and YA thriller books. At their core they are both love stories, but… well… I’m embarrassed. Here I am talking about taking chances, yet I don’t listen to my own advice. I’m grappling with releasing them because I fear people judging me with these two books. The fact is, they are fiction and they are suspense thrillers, written with much of the same flavor as my other books, but I’ve upped the ante. I think the stories are pretty great and exciting too and I know there is a market out there, but I just have to get the guts to put them out.

I actually started querying agents for one of the books. Twenty-six agents since February who represent this type of work. Ten wrote back “no thanks” and the others simply ignored me. Typical, but man, when you’re a person nervous about something like this, it hits you in your core. If an agent won’t even peek at it, does it really suck? My editor read my query and said it was great and sound, and I believe her. People I’ve spoken to think the concepts of the story are sound too, so do I keep submitting these babies to agents, or just publish them myself? I’m stalled because of my fear.

The fact is, I really do believe in taking chances. The last thing I want to do is end my life and regret not doing something out of fear. That’s a sad way to live if all you do is worry about how other people perceive you, but we’re human and it’s in our nature.

So, I implore all of you to take a chance today. It can be a little chance, it can be a big one, but really think about what you would love to do one day and just do it. I swear, deep in your core, you will be more satisfied with yourself.

I wish all of you well on anything you choose to do. Me? Step one is telling people in my circle about these books. It’s my teeny step forward listening to their thoughts about it… and you want to know what? They’re supportive so far.

There you go.

23 thoughts on “Life is about Choices, Take a Chance…

  1. Auguri per i tuoi libri, non pensare troppo agli altri, butta fuori quello che realmente tieni dentro di te….Un abbraccio e tanto successo.

    • Thank you so much! I couldn’t read this at first and had one of my Italian speaking friends translate. For those who’d love to see this lovely compliment above, it basically said, “Best wishes for your books, do not think too much about the others. [As in negative people] Just throw out what you keep inside you … .A hug and much success.”

  2. An excellent post was thinking about writing something similar myself. I found letting the first person read part of my book was the hardest after that it gets slowly better. I found my blog a great help as people have been so positive and supportive with helpful advise. I recently read an article about all the great author and how they where rejected by agents and publishers. So take heart and believe in you work!

    • Thank you so much – rejection is just crippling, so I simply try to ignore it and move on. That’s all we can do, right? Thank you so much for reading and commenting – really appreciate it.

  3. Great post! I think everyone can relate. Have you thought of putting a chapter or two of one of these stories on your blog or website? Maybe the feedback you get will push you to publish? Just a thought.


    • That is a fantastic idea – my only issue is, that the chapters are so violent and sexually charged I don’t want them living on the internet. I actually have someone going to beta the first 5 chapters – just to clear it. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  4. I, too, was nervous and afraid to put myself out there until I realized that – If I don’t toot my own horn, nobody else is going to toot it for me. Everything is subjective, we all like different things and you’re quite familiar with my grandfather’s adage: If we all liked the same thing, we’d all be jumping grandma. Well, in a sense, that’s true. Not everyone will like what you put out, but in the long run, that is their loss – not yours. Of course, there is always “Auntie Mame” who said: Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! I can only add – Move forward bravely and do not fear!

    • I do not know. I mean, would publishing a saucy book be bad judgement on my part? To some, yes – because of the nature, but to others, I don’t know. I just finished a dark romantic suspense that was violent and sexually charged – it was written well and engaging, but was it bad judgement for her to publish it. With over 100 5 star reviews, I’m going to say no. I just don’t know.

  5. I’m sure they’re great book, Lyse! If I were you, I’d set some arbitrary date — Halloween, for instance — and if an agent hasn’t asked to see them by then, I’d start the process of self-publishing. And publishing the really hot stuff under a pen name isn’t at all unusual…

  6. I believe you should publish whatever you write when you’re satisfied with the story. You should be sure to tell readers about the type of content since your other books are far different, and then let them decide.

    I’m so glad we now have the opportunity to publish our own books and are not subject to the whims of agents and publishers. I wasted too many years suffering because of rejections I got, finally got agents and a publisher, and then the publisher went bankrupt and returned my book. I stopped writing for ten years and felt worthless. Now I enjoy writing and readers give me feedback that makes me want to continue.

    • You’re story is like mine, Diane. First book with a small press and they went under the week before the second book was to launch. Then got an agent that was stellar and worked on BIG BOOKS and I thought I was set, and he couldn’t sell the series. Bummed was not the word. I won’t lie, I’d love a publishing house and one day want to walk into a B&N and see my book sitting there. It’s a little pipe dream at this point, but maybe one day. I’m moving forwards with this book and will make full disclosure on the description so no one has any illusions about the subject matter. I may even do this under my own name at this point actually. We’ll see…

  7. Tricky one. I wrote some stuff early on that was a bit, erm, hot and then got cold feet and toned it down. I find the ‘what would my kids think’ test one that both works for me and holds me back but I can’t see how I can risk feeling so uncomfortable. In a way it’s just as brave to self censor because you feel some sort of integrity thing telling you an artist stands by their art and you should publish but your conscience says hang on, what’s the point ending up feeling uncomfortable and maybe making others feel uncomfortable. Whatever you do you have made a decision and that’s brave. Great post Elyse and hope you solve your dilemma.

  8. I understand the fear of changing jobs. Sometimes we get comfortable in our circumstance even if we aren’t happy and then finding something new becomes even harder. At least I am still brave with my writing and that helps balance out everything else.

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