Saturday, April 4, 2015

My One Big Fear as a Writer

I see stuff all over writer blogs and forums like Google+ and Goodreads and Pinterest about writer's block. Authors talk about it like it's an STD or something. I have to say I've never experienced it. I sit down to write and I write. Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough or deep enough to wonder about the things that stop writers from being able to write--things like whether my writing is good enough or people will like it or it will add to the collective understanding of the universe and our place in it. In all fairness, I do wonder about those things (even the last one), but not until after the fact. It seriously never enters my mind while I'm actually writing. 

I also don't worry much about making it as an author financially. I would like to, but I'm in a position that I can make it the rest of my life doing what I do for a living, teach, and still have enough time to write to my heart's content. Yes, there are times when I think it would be terrific if I could just write and promote my books full-time, but if that never happens, I can live with it. Some may argue that this attitude will keep me from making it. I'm reading a book by some independent authors who scrapped everything and put all their eggs in the basket of making a living exclusively through writing. They said that this was the only way they would definitely have the drive to do it. Good for them, but that's just not me. For one, I enjoy my other job--a lot. And for another, I have financial obligations that don't change when I have an off month selling books, like the last two months. So it's not even something I consider. I believe it will either happen or not and that's mainly beyond my control.

What if my train of thought ends?
My big fear is a weird one. Maybe. I don't know. It's just my fear. It's kind of like writer's block, I guess, only different. Like I said, while I'm working on a project, be it a novel or a short story or even poetry, I write. My fear is that, once the current project is finished, I'll be finished. I'm just past the rough draft phase of my third novel. What scares me is the thought that I only had three of them in me. I just read the 20th book in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series, and there was a preview of book 21 in the back of that one. I want so badly to have 21 books in me, but what if I don't? What if three is it? Could I live with that? Frankly I don't know. The idea makes me a little queasy.

But then something happens. I read an article in the paper or I think about some character from one of the previous books and how his or her fate was kind of left open and how that might make the kernel of a new story and I'm off down the rabbit hole again. So I have all I need to get book four started. It's nebulous and highly incomplete, but it's the beginning of the thread and that's all I need. 

So I guess I have nothing to fear until I finish Shalan #4.  

No comments:

Post a Comment