If you write long enough odds are that you’ll start working on a story for longer than normal. Odds are that you’ll try to make it perfect, even when it’s clear that you’re just afraid to let it go. You’ll fear rejection and bad reviews. You’ll think you’re not good enough to write the story the way it deserves to be written. You haven’t lived long enough and stuff like that.
Maybe you do so because you feel this story’s the “one.” This is the story where you actually say something no one else can, where you leave behind more of you than you’ve done before. It’s a story that defines who you are more than anything else ever written.
It’s your baby, and you want to take care of it and it’s terrifying to see it grow, because you know that one day it’s going to leave home and meet new people and someone undoubtedly is going to hate it. And, so, you postpone that day for as long as you can.
Somehow, you feel you’re not a writer because you make stuff up, but you’re writer because of this particular story.
And it’s scary, because you feel it means more to you than it could ever mean to a stranger. No one’s ever going to love it like you do, and, yes, you might be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be loved at all.
I fell into this trap, and I’m not even sure how to get out of it. As I write these words, I don’t have any answers. I just know that I’m staring at a manuscript and I’m afraid to take any action. I’m afraid to format the e-book and the paperback. Of course, I don’t even want to think about uploading it on KDP or Smashwords.
Somehow, I feel I could make it better if I wait. For what, I don’t know. Just wait, because something’s going to happen. Something magical, and then the novel’s going to be perfect, and I’m going to make everyone happy.
But the truth is that I don’t want to be afraid to release this one story. I’ve got many more stories to write, and I don’t want to rewrite the same thing over and over again until I can’t write anymore. And I don’t want for this story to mean more to me than it should.
Yes, it’s my “baby,” and it’s the story that tells stranger more about me than I could ever say in a lifetime. But I’m not afraid of that. Actually, I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of.
I can think of a bunch of maybes…
Maybe it’s time to let it go. Good or bad, it doesn’t really matter. Let my readers decide. After all, it’s not my “baby” because it’s gonna get only five star reviews. It’s my “baby” because it’s the story I’ve loved to write more than anything else. But I can’t spend the rest of my life writing the same story just because I “enjoy” that particular world too much.
After all, if you eat too much of your favorite dish you’re going to get sick.