Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Do The Right Thing (An IWSG Post)

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of uber blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh. Its purpose is to offer insecure writers everywhere a safe space in which to voice their fears and offer support to others. Please click on the above link or the pic to the left for more information and a complete list of participants...

In my last IWSG post, I was freaking out over how well things were suddenly going in my never-ending quest to publish my first novel, Effigy. Today I'd like to continue that freak out.

Because this is a safe space, and if you're laughing at me (and, really, why wouldn't you?), you're doing it in the privacy of your own homes or workspaces or wherever it is you get on the internet, and I can't see you doing it. Unless you start sending me videos of you laughing at me.

But that just seems mean. And you're not mean.

So the last time I was freaking out on IWSG day, I was starting Effigy's "final" edits (still feel the need to add the quotes) and worrying about how well it all was going.

Things haven't stopped going well. Now, the "final" edits are done, the cover is done, and I'm choosing between interior design samples for an actual physical paperback book.

And I'm worrying. I'm worrying that I'm making all the wrong decisions. That my cover, as lovely as I feel it is, may not be the right cover. That I might choose the absolute wrong interior design. That my blurb (provided I actually settle down long enough to finalize it) is just wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm terrified that I have done and am doing everything wrong.

And I don't know what to do.

My significant other told me I just have to go with my gut. It's good advice, and I'm trying very hard to follow this advice, but here's the thing...my gut is also what told me it was a good idea to eat two boxes of Girl Scout cookies in a single sitting, so I'm not exactly sure my gut is the most trustworthy thing ever.

Though those Girl Scout cookies were really good.

Maybe my gut does know what it's doing.

So here's my current plan: I'm going to keep pushing on. I'm going to ignore the worry like it's the boss at my day job, and I'm going to keep moving forward. I have a list of everything that's left to do (unless I've forgotten about something...Damn! Now I have to worry about that too!), and every day I shall endeavor to cross just one thing off that list.

Eventually I'll get there.

Unless I get distracted by Girl Scout cookies. Tagalongs, thou art my undoing. You too, Thin Mints.

That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for listening.

34 comments:

  1. He gave you good advice.
    If you are really stressed, have a couple close writer friends look at your cover and blurb. Just remember, it's yours and you have the final say.

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    1. I do keep asking for opinions. And I worry that if I don't stop soon, people are going to change their names and go into hiding.

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  2. At some point you just have to say "enough" and let it go. Otherwise, your words will never go out into the world where we're all waiting for them - don't leave us hanging! :)

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    1. See, now I'll have to worry that my words aren't good enough. Oh wait...I already do that. Never mind.

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  3. Getting feed back is really helpful in these situations. A few extra sets of eyes can help us really decided what we want. Good luck with it all. Also...thin mints, oh my stars yes to thin mints...erm..sorry had a moment there.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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    1. No need to apologize. I understand completely.

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  4. I'd say go with your gut as well. It's your book, so ultimately you'll know what's right for it.

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  5. It's all good. BREATHE!!!! BREATHE!!!!

    The world will keep turning no matter what you choose. You're not breaking anything. Do what you LIKE and follow your gut. As long as you're proud of it when its done.
    HMG

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    1. Breathe? What is this 'breathing' of which you speak?

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  6. Now I want some Thin Mints. ;)

    And I know exactly what you mean. This publishing business can drive a person crazy. As soon as you think the book is ready and you're making the right decisions, then doubts crop up and can grind the entire process to a halt. For me, I have to take a few deep breaths and maybe a couple days off from working on the novel to think why I am panicking. Is it valid? Or am I just worrying over nothing? Then, when I've given myself time to go through all the various scenarios, I often find I was on the right track all along and I'm sure you are too. :)

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    1. I'd offer you some Thin Mints, but, you know, I ate them all already. Sorry... #notsorry

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  7. I'm sure your cover is fine. Just publish the damn book already LOL

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  8. Maybe you should eat one more box of Girl Scout cookies to clear your head. I think Hair Ball would approve.

    And here, have a chocolate hug from me.

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  9. I'm already out of Tagalongs . . . Probably for the best. I'll make up for it with Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. ~MPL

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  10. I know it sounds cliche, but go with your heart! Always.

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  11. You do need to calm down lol. And the thing is, if you are planning to self publish, you can change things whenever you want. How many times have you seen an author saying, "Hey, I have a new cover for my book!"?

    Keep talking to people and gathering opinions, but all in all, your other half is right. Trust your instincts! :D

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  12. I agree with your other half, trust your instincts. If you love the cover, then it's the right cover. Good luck!

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  13. Not to sound callous, but it's not heart surgery. All the things you've listed are important, but not life threatening. Trust your choices, and know going in that some may be wrong. You use this as a learning curve to make the next one better. Lather. Rinse. Repeat with all your next books making each one stronger than the one before. You can't know everything at this point. That takes experience. Which you only get by doing. Just take this plunging step into authordom making the best decisions you can at the time with the knowledge you have. You'll be great!!

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  14. If it helps, everyone feels like they're doing it wrong. Doesn't matter if it's George Washington going over battle plans (he got his butt kicked more often than not), or a teenager in the backseat with his girlfriend. Or, as David Lean once put it, "Only the jerks are confident."

    Especially in art, where there's so many ways to do things, and they're all open, and anything goes, and you have no idea how people are going to take it.

    So please yourself. It's your book, and only you know how it should be, and you're the one it matters to the most. And if you don't please yourself, it won't matter what other people say - you'll still see how it should've been.

    Also, don't be afraid to take your time. Everything looks different after you put it down for a week. It can help to take some of the stress out of it and get that perspective.

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  15. Damn it, now I want cookies.

    I think the worry is natural, and shows that you're trying your best to make you book a success. If you didn't care, you'd be like "meh, whatever, I'll choose the first one I see."

    If you've done your research about what covers, layouts etc. appeal to your target market, you should be fine.

    Let the worry, or energy, fuel you moving forwards, so you get that book out there in the world!

    Good luck with your April literary endeavors.

    Clare Dugmore Writes

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  16. You ate all the cookies? All of them? Even the crumbs?????

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  17. It's better to go with your gut than not go at all, right?

    Man, I could go for some cookies right now.

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  18. Go with your gut. If it loves those cookies, it knows exactly what it's doing.

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  19. I'd say if you're still worried then you are on the right track. It may be nerve racking, but at least your worrying is ensuring that you do an excellent job. At least, that's how I look at it.

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  20. I don't think you can choose a "wrong" interior design. The blurb was sounding pretty good the last time you posted it. And when you find the right cover, you'll know. (And if any of it is "wrong", you can fix and republish later. That's the great thing about self publishing.)

    Man, I never found any Girl Scouts, so I didn't get any cookies this year. Pretty sad considering that one year I was the cookie chairman for my Girl Scout troop (all the cookies for the entire troop ended up in my garage).

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  21. If the cookies were Samoas, I'd trust your gut.

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  22. You got to the point of choosing a cover! That's so awesome. Everything will fall into place. You do have to trust yourself.

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  23. Sending videos of me laughing at you sounds really funny. That's kind of an awesome idea. Except, well, I don't really have the equipment to pull that off. Or... maybe, I do? Man, I don't know if I do, which is even worse. Now you can send videos laughing at me, and I bet you do know how to do that.

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  24. I agree with your significant other. Trust yourself. You know what you want your final product to look and read like. Don't worry about what others think, what is important is what you think. Best of luck.

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  25. I'm sure you're making great choices. Hang in there.

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  26. Always trust your gut - it knows, even if you wobble.

    And I admit, I did laugh a little, but only at the idea of people sending you videos of themselves.

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  27. Visiting from A to Z to say hello and send supportive cheer for your decision making ability.

    Suzi's Ice Box Art!
    Stormy's Sidekick
    Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

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  28. "I'm going to ignore the worry like it's the boss at my day job." I love that line. Crossing just one thing off the list is a great action plan.

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