I have made my living as a business writer and coach, in fact I’ve published several non-fiction books, but it’s been absolutely terrifying writing fiction for the first time. I mean utterly terrifying. I don’t have the benefit of being so naive about the writing process (like some new authors are), that I think I can just write a book and people will love it and buy it. I know first hand that isn’t anywhere near the case.
I have recently finished the draft of my first full manuscript titled Cousins–A new adult romance and the first book of a series about two cousins who end up falling for each other (think Stepbrother romance). I agonized about how to begin all my chapters. How to end them all. My punctuation. My grammar. My use of slang and profanity. If I would ever let any of my daughter’s read it (maybe when they’re 30:). If there was too much going on in the plot. If there was not enough going on in the plot. If my characters were making a connection. If the sex scenes were hot enough.
I could go on and on…but what I’m saying is that while this type of analysis paralysis is normal for writers during the writing process, at some point you have to relax and release. I just forgot that. It took me a VERY long time to finally say “okay good is good enough” and send it to my editor. The only way I’m going to get better at this is to write another book, and another, and another. Get feedback, improve my skills and write again. And I can’t be a chicken shit about it.
I’m an author and I need to act like it.
I need to take any hard jabs I may receive about the book with a grain of salt, and any praise I get with gratitude. I need to remember why I write. Why I have to write…because it’s a part of me. It’s what I do. Some people are going to like it and some people won’t…and that’s okay, because ultimately I need to remember that I’m writing for me first. I’m my first reader…and you are yours.