Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The paranoid author :and how to ditch the paranoia

Writers can become paranoid. Here are ten causes of anxiety and ten reassurances:

  1. What will my critique group think? They will give you constructive criticism.
  2. Will I ever stop editing?  Probably not, but that is your way of keeping up standards.
  3. Will I run out of ideas?  Even if you do momentarily, you’ll soon find others.  Go take a walk in the park. 
  4. Will this novel ever be accepted? It may or it may not. It doesn’t matter.  Carry on writing and submitting. You’ll just keep on getting better. 
  5. Now that my novel has been accepted, will I be able to keep up with the rewrites? Of course you will. If they’re reasonable, you’ll diarise them. If they’re not reasonable, you’ll negotiate.  
  6. If I do get a bestseller, will I be able to follow it up? Probably, but even if you don’t, one bestseller is more than enough. You can keep writing anyway. 
  7. Now that the book is out there, what will the critics say?  Some will like it. Some won’t. Remember at least two people did – you and your editor.
  8. Will I ever earn enough from my writing? Who knows? And what does that mean? Are you earning enough now? Is it to do with your writing? If not, can you change what you’re doing so that it is? Gradually move over …?
  9. Will the taxman believe me? Yes, as long as you’re only avoiding tax and not evading it and as long as you’re being honest.   
  10. Will I stop enjoying this one day? Probably not. But if you do, you probably won’t want to do it any more. So it won’t matter.  

Next time, I’ll try to balance this by reporting on the ten reasons to be happy. 

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