I 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.