Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG Post – Fear of not getting published

IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) founded by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, is a support group for writers, where we talk of our writing insecurities and help and support each other. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. IWSG is celebrating its second anniversary today. 

Two years, 315 members, IWSG has gone from strength to strength, accumulating writers from all over the world in its womb.

The fear and anxiety I am sharing is one every writer would have undergone at some stage of his or her career. Fear of not getting published. Infact, for many of us this fear smacks us in the face with every manuscript we start writing.

For me this fear looms large like an insurmountable mountain every time I start a new work. For one, I have this great ability to choose themes which publishers may not be instantly attracted towards. I love to go for the unusual, both in story, style and characterization. This trait of mine gives me immense bouts of anxiety whether publishers will like my work or turn it down. Trying to keep this fear at bay is as tough as trying to outline the story.

Whenever this fear attacks me, I try to think of Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries), Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid) and other writers who attempted something new. I am sure they too had their fair share of rejections. I am also sure that they persevered even in the face of these rejections and managed to reach the publishing peak (getting published) and write their next lot of books.

Does the fear of not being published ever cross your mind? How do you all tackle this fear and manage to get over this anxiety? Is there anyone out there who was confident of getting published right from typing that first word on their laptops? Please share your thoughts on this topic.



32 comments:

  1. Since I publish through Indie publishing, this fear is not applicable to me. But yes, whether I will be able to sell even a single copy is an active fear that I have to confront!

    I guess some fear is required - It can bring the best out of us.

    Destination Infinity

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  2. I think we all suffer from this fear. I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to learn how to write and coming up with plots that I think others will enjoy, but until the day comes that I send it out to agents and someone actually likes my story, I'll have to continue to work on blind faith. A proposition that scares me all the time.

    Glad you're part of the IWSG.

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  3. Every time I write I wonder, is this good enough, will someone be interested, will I ever succeed at this? But I would never stop writing, because the stories are too demanding. They insist on being written. Success comes in many forms, and being published is only one of them.

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  4. Thanks for your kind support, Rachna.
    I overcame the problem of finding a publisher, just didn't try, thought I would be too old to be considered, and now on my fifth indie publisher book.The only drawback is the time it takes to do the publicity, shall try for representation with the next book, wish me luck. :0)

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  5. I had to laugh when I read your comment that you have an ability to pick topics publishers may not be instantly attracted to. I thought I was the only one. When I first started out, I had the blithe conviction publishers would LOVE my stories. Now, I'm much more realistic: I'm getting published little by little (the normal route). But I still write what grabs me, rather than trying to second guess the market. The minute I worry about publishing, my inspiration dries up. More than anything, I want to keep that inspiration.

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  6. Oh yes,oh yes. There are so many great writers who struggled with same issue. Some even only got published pothumously.

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  7. It certainly is a fear we all know. I chose to self-publish for now but I might still attempt to get published traditionally in the future. As you said, even great successful writers have received rejection, we just have to keep pushing forward.

    And if you what you are writing is not the norm, I'm intrigued ;)

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  8. Oh yeah. Right until the day I signed my publishing contract. :-)

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  9. Yes, yes, yes! I struggle with it daily often wondering will it all be worth it. But I go on because I'm a writer and it's what I do. The Help got rejected 61 times before it found a home. I know that if we persevere our stories will find a home, too.

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  10. Yes, I worry about not getting published. I don't let it stop me writing though. If I don't write the story then there's absolutely no chance of it getting published but the odds improve a bit if I finish it and send it out.

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  11. Yes I worry about it all the time! I write because I love it, it makes me who I am but obviously the getting published part is always at the back of my mind.

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  12. Doing something different might limit your options, but it will also make your work stand out. Believe that someone will be willing to take a chance on it.

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  13. Oh yes, I think this hits all of us no matter the stage we're in. I usually just try not to let the thoughts linger when I have them!

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  14. I'm not afraid of not being published. I'm afraid of not being good enough to be published. I'm afraid that my story will suck. That's the fear that hits me on the first word (and every word thereafter).

    I'm still pretty early on in the prcess of learning how this all works as i've yet to edit something to a publishable point and really try for that, so I can't speak to it.

    But i can tell you what gets me from word one to "the end": You remember Dori from Finding Nemo? I sing her song, only instead of swimming, I'm writing. "Just writing! Just keep writing! Just keep writing, writing, writing..."

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  15. I definitely have this fear. And the opposite one. If I did get published, could I handle it and produce a book on contract. That's almost more scary to me.

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  16. I think the world of publishing is more wide open for new ideas now than it ever has been. I was worried I might never get published but I knew from reading the first page she wrote that my first critique partner would and she did.

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  17. I bet if you researched those authors, the amount of rejections they received would surprise you. But they made it and so will you.

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  18. I think there are readers who are looking for different and who are tired of finding always more of the same. I also think it is a bit more difficult to find publishers for "different" since they like to play safe with what already sells. I think a good way to ease your anxiety is remembering why you're writing what you write, the way you write it. I would believe the answer is because it makes you happy. :)

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  19. I struggled with the whole publishing issue. I hate writing a synopsis. I struggled with every rejection wanting to throw in the towel. Other writers always told me to let it fall off my back but I seemed unable to do so. Since my fantasy featured characters that were in their twenties and my voice was YA, it was a terrible thing. I finally just self published and will not go back to the submit to publishers thing again. Of course, a year after I published, the industry came out with young adult.
    Nancy

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  20. I've definitely had that fear. I decided to conquer it in two ways. I decided to self-publish, and I decided to keep writing and keep working at it. I want to get published via self-pubbing (done and continuing for a trilogy), and I would like to get published through a small press (next set of books, I hope), and I would like to get published through one of the "big" presses - but I haven't planned how to tackle that last group yet. For now, I'm focusing on getting the current projects done, and then I'll work on that next set. The page in front of me is enough to do for now. That's what I tell myself when my mind wanders into worry zone about publishing.

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  21. I have yet to reach that milestone:)

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  22. I've had a couple minor short story publications; but I still fear that I'll never be good enough to make money at my writing passion. I tell myself it is just a hobby, like hiking, golfing or crafting; and the thrill of completing a concept just for myself is enough.

    I don't know Rachna, when you figure out how to overcome this fear, I hope you share it with me. Self publishing isn't my answer, but it is answer to many writers, and they seem to do well with the strategy.

    ......dhole

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  23. I think everyone has this fear - so much work and soul goes into our stories.

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  24. The fear of rejection by publishers didn't hit me until recently. Now that I'm on the final leg of my novel writing journey, I'm scared to death that it will all be for nothing.

    My husband tells me that no matter what, I learned a lot, and became a stronger writer. Although this is true, it's difficult to accept that the project I devoted the last four years of my life to wound up being "Something to do." Every writer wants to write and publication gives them the opportunity to make it a full-time career.

    Even if my current WIP is rejected, I will continue to write. I might pursue another career as well, but I will never let go of my dream to become a published author. I'll just keep writing until I get accepted. I'll fail when I stop trying.

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  25. The fear of not getting published came to me several times when I was younger. Now that I am older and do not write long stories, I am not worried about not getting published. I found the platform in my blog.

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  26. The biggest writing fear I must overcome is thinking everyone will think my work is terrible. :) The reality of reviews is sobering!

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  27. Rejection can be hard, but you have to remember that even Harry Potter and books that became bestsellers were rejected. If you choose to find a publisher for your work, keep submitting. Reading is all subjective, but I believe your audience is out there. :)

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  28. I love reading rejection and success stories, because we must write and submit endlessly until publishing happens.

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  29. I have to laugh at myself on this one... I totally thought my first novel would be the next Harry Potter..True..Two years of rejects, countless edits and re-writes, and I had still believed ... Stubborn? You bet. But I learned a great deal.

    I wrote another novel...I though again,"This is it!" Ha! not yet.

    My first published work came two years after that... and NOT a novel, but a 135 word blurb I had created for another author ....

    I am thrilled. It's the first step.

    Believe in yourself, Rachna. I applaud and admire your bravery to write the unusual and different... Keep it up, you'll get there! I believe in you.

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  30. Even though books one and two are published I still fear book three won't be. It never ends!

    Happy IWSG Anniversary!

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  31. I'm like you, where my writing is so not commercial and is too risky for agents to take hold of. Who knows, maybe I would have eventually found one who was willing to put in the effort, but I really doubt it. I didn't give it too long, about six months, before I decided to go it on my own. Since the writing and publishing world is changing so much, I'm glad I did!

    I may try for an agent with the sequel to my first book. I may give it another six months and see how it goes. But the fear is no longer there. Writer’s Mark

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  32. Oh... I posted a comment but think it was swallowed by spammer...?

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