Wednesday, 4 September 2013

What's Up Wednesday #5 and IWSG #6 - Fear of obscurity



What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow and is a great way for readers and writers to catch up!

What I'm reading


I've started The Alchemyst by Michael Scott, which is the first in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. I don't have much time for reading, except when I'm on the tube, but I'm enjoying this! I'm also making my way through the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk, which I'd recommend to all urban fantasy fans!

What I'm writing


I'm still writing Darkworld Book 5 and my YA fantasy - I passed the 1/2 mark on Darkworld and the 1/3 mark on the YA fantasy a few days ago, so I'm in a good place!

What else I've been up to


The usual. Work. Commuting. Editing. Dozing off at my laptop. Had a great weekend of writing in Starbucks, though (I'd intended to explore London but all the tubes were down, and I wasn't up for braving the replacement bus service at a weekend in a school holiday! :P)

I was also invited by the lovely Erin to play the 12 Random Facts Game!

What inspires me right now

Well, the final edits on Darkness Watching have been accepted! *squeeeee!!!!* That both inspires and terrifies me in equal measure!



The Insecure Writers Support Group is the genius creation of Alex J Cavanaugh!

Insecurity seems to be the curse of being a writer - it never goes away, not after publication, not after signing with an agent, not even after becoming a bestseller. In fact, I've observed that achieving the dream actually ramps up the anxiety, because it creates a sense of expectation. People want things from you, things you're suddenly unsure you can deliver. Now, I'm no bestselling author. I don't have an agent. When my first book, The Puppet Spell, came out, it was like shouting into an empty room. Few people noticed. I did have the support of some lovely people, but I failed to reach my audience. Sales were so bad I had to abandon the sequel and accept that I'd never make back the money I spent on publishing and promoting it (not to mention drop my plans to get it into bookshops because I can't afford the extra printing costs).  And yeah, that stung, to say the least. I got up, brushed it off, and tried to ignore the fact that everyone seemed to be selling better than me, or at least were further away from the Swamp of Obscurity. My fears that no one would like the book were groundless, because no one cared!

This time, as I approach the publication of my second novel, Darkness Watching, I find myself experiencing twice the usual fears. The old fear of ridicule is still there- but sitting by its side is the fear of obscurity, the fear that once again, no one will notice my book. Now, Darkness Watching couldn't be more different from The Puppet Spell - it's upper-YA urban fantasy/paranormal, and has a completely different tone and writing style. In effect, the readership is completely different. It's also the first in a series. Hence my fears. If people hate -or ignore - the first book, then what about the later ones? These are the worries I have to battle every time I think about my book being unleashed on the world. I'm so proud of this one - I think it's the best thing I've written, and I've spent over a year writing, rewriting, and editing it. I think it's ready - but the twin fears continue to attack me every time I catch myself thinking about the future of the series. Even if a miracle happens and the first book isn't a flop, can I really sustain reader interest for FOUR sequels? It's a question I can't answer, because I'm lacking in the crystal ball department, but it sure doesn't help that my future is a big pile of worry at the moment.

What do I do? Well, what can any writer do, really? I carry on writing on the assumption that this time, people will care, that I really do have something to say. I'll finish up the sequels, and not look too closely at sales or reviews (easier said than done, believe me). In short, I'll continue to dream. That's what writers do best, right?

16 comments:

  1. Wow, already at the 1/2 and 1/3 marks for both of your drafts? That's awesome, as is the final edits acceptance--yay you! :)

    Also, I can totally relate to this insecurity. Now that my comics and artwork are more on display, I'm more paranoid than ever about how others view it all, if they view it. So not a fun feeling. Hopefully your own anxiety will be unwarranted!

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    1. Your artwork is amazing! :) I think it's an insecurity that's unavoidable for anyone brave enough to share their work! :)

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  2. Coincidentally, the final edits for my novel were just accepted too. I know the fear that inspires. Is that the Swamp of Obscurity I smell? *glances over shoulder and then hurries on* I'm even more scared about my cover. That's the thing that can make or break a novel, but the publisher decides. Congrats on your accomplishments, and I'm wishing you much success! :-)

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    1. *High five for finished edits!* Thank you! :) Here's hoping we both manage to avoid the Swamp!

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  3. Writing is a synonym for dreaming I think. And boy do we dream big. It's scary, but it's important. Keep at it! Write! In then end, it's worth it. Right?

    Happy two years IWSG!

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    1. Definitely! The writing is its own reward! :)

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  4. I hope this book does better than your last one - I'm sure it will; you're more experienced now, and you're obviously dedicated. It will be fine :)

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  5. The best advice I ever got was to keep writing. It sounds like you're doing just that. Keep it up and great things will happen. :)

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  6. Eep, I thought the insecurity went away once you published. I'm sure this book will do better than the last one. I agree with Laura above, and I admire you for accomplishing all that you have so far. There's much more to come from you - this is just the beginning! :D

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    1. Sadly, it doesn't. But the good outweighs the bad! Thank you! :)

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  7. I've heard that the more books you have published, the better your sales. Once people find one book they like, they will read your others too. Obscurity sucks, but there is still time. Perhaps the new novel will rustle up sales for the old one. Good luck!

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  8. It's got to be frustrating putting in all that work, and feeling like you've not been noticed, but even JK Rowling didn't get much attention for the first run of her first book.

    I'm not saying that you'll get that kind of fame, of course, but if your readers end up passing copies of the first book onto friends, your name could spread.
    And at least you've got a 'finished book' you can give to an agent, which can't harm your chances!

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  9. Oh yeah I deal with that insecurity too (sorry I'm late visiting here, btw). Obscurity. Yikes. But if you don't put things out, you're guaranteed obscurity. Keep trying!

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