My Ivory Tower

My name is Karin Huxman and I write romance for New Concepts Publishing. You can find my author page at http://newconceptspublishing.com/karinhuxmanbooks.html. I write a mix of time travel, contemporary, paranormal, and sf/fantasy and love every minute of it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On fear ...

When I first started out as a writer, with the intent to finish and publish books, I felt exhilaration, excitement, a small measure of anxiety, but I scoffed at others who talked about fear. With the first book I ever sold, VIRTUAL HEART, going out of print and not having sold a new romance in over a year, fear is finally catching up with me.

It’s the fear that the three book series I’m working on will never sell. The middle grade children’s novel I’ve been submitting will never be enjoyed by the intended audience. Fear that the spark of exhilaration and joy when I sit down to write may be gone for good, not just gone for a little while.

I think writing should be joyous, it should be exciting. Writers should approach the page with equal amounts trepidation and delight. But too many times fear holds us hostage. So how am I handling this fear? Well, I’m still writing every day. I’m still committed to finishing the book that I started. I’m looking forward to finally writing that vampire mystery that’s been brewing in the back of my head for a couple of years. And I search for joy and try to find ways to push away the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that says I’m a “has been” even though I’ve never even been a best seller.

Being a creative person, I live with both ego and the fear that I’m just not good enough every day. I’m working to dilute that fear by writing from the heart. Writing stories I want to tell whether or not anyone wants to read them. The process, I tell myself, is the important part of the journey. Who am I kidding? I want my work to sell bunches so I can send my husband on the hunt of his life and we can finally go on that cruise to Tahiti. I’m afraid that my chance has passed me by but I’m stubborn and not a little rebellious. So I keep writing. The story has to come out one way or another, it’s what I do.

What do you do to conquer the fear that crops up in your creative life? Ignore it? Confront it? Whine about it? Please share with us. Oh, and go to the New Concepts Publishing site and take a chance on buying VIRTUAL HEART at a huge sale price. Last chance, you know.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Karin,
You are a very talented and sincere person and should not fear rejection. You are experienced enough to know that books are bought according to the current need and wants of the publishing company and has very little to do with how good your book is. If is doesn't fit their current slot, they don't want it. You will do fine and are a wonderful writer. Keep up the good work.
Pat Gaines, OK

Anonymous said...

Hi Karin,
You are a very talented and sincere person and should not fear rejection. You are experienced enough to know that books are bought according to the current need and wants of the publishing company and has very little to do with how good your book is. If it doesn't fit their current slot, they don't want it. You will do fine and are a wonderful writer. Keep up the good work.
Pat Gaines, OK

paulab said...

Oh, wow, Karin! I sure do understand what you're saying. With family obligations swamping me, the last few years have been very tough for me as a writer, There were weeks, even months, when I didn't write a thing, but the thought of writing was never far from the front of my mind. When I finally got back into the swing of things, I was scared to death. Maybe my talent had shriveled up and died away. Maybe I would never sell another book or story. Maybe, maybe, maybe...I dwelled on every possibility imaginable, and of course, this made writing even harder, almost impossible.
But I'm a writer. I can't not write or at least think of writing, so I kept trying--short stories, book projects, old manuscripts, new manuscripts. But nothing felt right. And then my publisher offered to collect some of my short fantasy fiction into an anthology.
What a boost to my ego! These were stories I'd written over the years and loved but never sold, for whatever reason. Yet I still believed in them. My publisher did, too, and this encouragement and finally seeing the book in print was just what I needed to overcome my fear.
I guess what I'm saying here is we writers have to believe in ourselves, no matter what. We have to believe and we have to write, no matter what. And when we write something that feels good to us, we have to have faith that someone, somewhere will believe in it, too.
Luck? I don't think so. We work hard and we persevere. And our persistence pays off, somewhere, somehow.
Keep believing, keep writing.
Paula Blais Gorgas, OK

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pat. That's good advice for everyone. And I know it's coming both from the heart and from experience. :) - Karin

Karin Huxman - Romance Author said...

Paula,

It's the truth, isn't it? We're writers and that's just what we are meant to do. Even when we aren't sure how the story is going to work out, or if we should even be writing it. A writer writes. Thanks for your input. - Karin

Eileen Nauman said...

Hi Karin
As an author and a homeopath (alternative medicine) I come at 'fear' differently than most people. There are many things to help overcome fear. To name just a few, "Broom Snakeweed," a desert bush out here in the Southwest, is great for known or unknown fears. I have a lot of people use it for fear of flying, but it can address ANY fear. Homeopathically, there are many remedies for fear of failure (which is what a homeopath would call this). One of the best is Gesemium (Yellow Jasmine). If your fear is stopping you from writing, i.e., writer's block, then Echo Blue Lisanthus flower essence will power you through plus bring a ton of new ideas or how to unwrite yourself out of a corner. These are 'tools' from Nature and are non-addictive, non-habit forming and safe to use. There are other energy methods you can use, too, but my answer will get too long :-). Suffice to say, there is much 'out there' to help a writer not shooth herself in the foot, freeze and then lose her career for a thing called 'fear.' Don't have to be.
Warmly, Lindsay McKenna/Eileen Nauman

PaulaB said...

Thanks for the great advice, Eileen. I (and many others) have missed tapping into your vast store of knowledge since the demise of the Athena list. Be well. Paula Gorgas

Kristin Huxman said...

Hi Mom,
I think these fear issues really apply to anyone in a creative field. Maybe because we're so response-driven, in order to thrive (or really, even just get by) we need approval by our peers, our publishers, and our audiences. Our own personal expectations and sense of achievement take a backseat according to the amount of "success" the manusript or painting or what-have-you receives. In the end, I suspect we each do what we do (create!) for our own pleasure and sense of worth, but that can be hard, if not impossible, to substantiate without some approval from outside sources. Interesting blog.

Kristin H.