Wednesday, 3 October 2012

IWSG : Struggling with Disappointment

My biggest insecurity at the moment is not measuring up to people's expectations. And by 'people' I mean folks like you. 

I'm over the fear of "What if people don't like my book?" Not liking something and being disappointed are two different things. What I'm worried about is disappointing and more importantly, disappointing you. I've met so many amazing people in the writing community, folks who I've grown to know and care about and  respect. However, I feel some of you may have certain preconceived ideas about my wip or my writing, and I'm afraid if you ever read my dribble someday, it'll turn into 387 pages of disappointment because I would have failed to fulfill your expectations. 

At the moment, I'm wrapping up my second draft and will be shipping it off to my editor. And even though she's read most of it, I'm still afraid she's going to be disappointed with the changes I've made and in the story itself. If the book ever does see the light of day, I really would be tempted to not say anything about it. Screw it if I never sell a single damn copy.  (0_o)凸



  1. Aloha,

    Ah the joys of living six hours west of the East Coast... I get to read of lot of Wednesday IWSG posts on Tuesday:)

    Hey, you are not alone in this feeling, I think most folks will agree we'll all been down that road, but if it doesn't kill you, it makes you a better writer, that's what I say.

    PS. your post also hits home, because I recently upset a fellow blogger (all my fault.)

    Now I begin to repair the bridge between us and it hurts because their dissapointment in me is probably going to take a while to dissolve... and that makes *me* sad - because I am the one who let *them* down.

    Thanks for posting (and reminding me how important these writerly relationships are - and how they should be nurtured.)

  2. Oh wow. This is exactly how I felt when I published my first book, and I still feel it now. The good news is, we are rarely as bad as we fear!

  3. Elise, I know the feeling well. This week with my new release I read on one of my support blogger posts that Alex had picked up a copy of my first book. I know that it isn't at the stage that my writing is now and I felt troubled.

  4. I have to completely stop thinking about people's expectations (readers or other writers) as I don't think I'd ever write anything for worrying.

    I guess the only good thing to come out of this fear is that it makes us realise how much we care, and the time to really start worrying is when we feel indifferent about other people's opinions...

  5. I'm so with you on this! I've had people read snips and scenes and I worry that they get the wrong idea from that one little piece and won't like it as a whole, or that it will just be different from what they expect. It comes down to: am I ready to deal with the fact I may disappoint people? Because if I put myself out there that is a realistic expectation, but without trying, I've already failed.

  6. I think many writers suffer from this. I just tell myself that I can't please everyone. If my husband, agent and editor love it, I'll have to take that and let it be enough. If they don't like it, then I have trouble.

  7. Okay, brace yourself cuz I'm gonna slap you! *SMACK*
    I'm glad you've vented this, really. It's important to shed the negativity and you did. Congrats. As far as measuring up or meeting people expectations, well...we all struggle with this. Stay focused on your goals and everything will fall into place. Remember what Captain Ninja Alex says..."Thou shall not suck!" You don't and never will. :)

    I hope this helps.

  8. Mark: "...if it doesn't kill you, it makes you a better writer," Then give me the Hugo Award already. For the rest, remember with time, all things work out.

    Kyra: I really hope so!

    CM: Well the good thing about self-publishing is you can update the version of your book and many authors do, several times a year from what I've heard.

    Stacey: I wish I could block it out, and I guess I can sometimes, but then I start worrying all over again. :/

    Sara: I don't think I'm ready to deal with disappointment in someones else's eyes. but sooner or later I'm going to have to.

    Isis: Thanks for stopping in and yes you're right. It's just hard sometimes...

    Mina: OUCH! *rubs cheek* Thanks Mina, I needed that. And yes it does help. (:

  9. I think that we all have these insecurities. If we didn't, then maybe we wouldn't be human. I personally can't stand people who are so full of themselves that they think that they cannot fail.

    But maybe that's part of the draw in this craft. We know that it's difficult so we measure success by the fact that it isn't easy to experience success. Personally, I don't think you have anything to worry about. I had the same anxiety when I sent my book to my editor. I thought, "what if she hates it?" Good thing she didn't.

  10. I know exactly what you mean, Elise. The fear of disappointing others can be stifling.

  11. This is a total fear of mine! Thanks for this, Elise. Gaaaaah... I wish I had the cure...

  12. I definitely fear this too. I don't like disappointing people, and I sometimes wonder if the next flash fiction piece I write or the next thing I publish will be the one to end my career before it really has started. But it's never as bad as we fear, and as long as we keep working and growing as a writer, we won't disappoint them.

  13. I hate the idea of disappointing people too. I don't have any readers yet but just my family and friends. I think it's something all writers worry about. But in a way it's good, because it makes it so that we always strive to do better.

    I'm a new follower btw. I'm glad I found you through IWSG. It's a great blog hop. :) Nice to meet you!

  14. I have no preconceived notions! And you better let us know when it comes out.

  15. I think the reality is that we can't please everybody... and I have no preconception about any writers work because that's just not fair! Just be the best that you can be! (((HUGS))) Don't worry, you'll be fine.

  16. Michael: I'm glad your editor liked it too. Heck, a lot of people love your book. (:

    Linda: I really can be, I just try not to let it be crippling.

    Morgan: Oh me too!

    Cherie: I keep having to tell myself that it's going to take time, time to grow and improve. It's not always easy.

    Tamara: Nice to meet you and I agree, it does make strive for perfection. And thanks for the follow! On my way to your blog now, zoooooom... (:

    Alex: LOL! Thanks, but I'm not promising anything! (;

    Michelle: Thanks Mich. I'm trying! (:

  17. It's a big fear, but I realize I can grow and get better from where I'm at. I feel each project is better than the last. So, don't let it stop you.

  18. Fear of disappointing others is rough. *sigh*
    But you're not letting that fear stop you, which means you're doing great! :)

  19. I feel you, Elise. I'm worry about people getting disappointed in my writing and even, in my blog. I want it the best it can be and that's what I do. Disappointment is a very harsh feeling. I really dislike like it when someone is very disappointed in my writing because I put my heart to it. Long story short: don't let it bug you and you'll get through it! :)

  20. I haven't read your work yet, so I can't attest, but I can tell you that you're not alone. At all. But we're endeavoring - that's what matters. :)

  21. I agree with David. You are not alone on this one.

  22. Aw, this made me sad. I have similar fears, of course, but it still made me sad hearing it come from someone else. Good luck! I'm sure your editor, and all of us, will love it!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  23. shake off that negativity... try to please everyone, you end up with some crap that isn't YOU!

    writing, like all art, and life, is NOT about meeting others' expectations...

    what the hell makes THEM so bloody superior?

    one book, or a hundred, published... they're still human [for the most part], and just as vulnerable to screwing up the next wip as is the first timer...

    write to make yourself happy, first... or: do what you love, the money will follow

    insecurities? sure...

    even the pros have em... but they persevere, as must we all...

    1. Close the door.

      Write with no one looking over your shoulder.

      Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.

      It's the one, and only, thing you have to offer.

      ~Barbara Kingsolver

      * * *

  24. M Pax: Thanks for commenting, and you're right, I need to give myself time to grow and learn from each project. Sometimes it's hard to look that far ahead.

    Jackie: Thanks Jackie, sometimes I need to remember that!

    Livia: Thanks Livia, I'm doing my best. (:

    David: Trudging through the insecurity is all we really can do. That or quit, and if anything, I'm not a quitter.

    Kelley: Thanks Kelley (:

    Shannon: Awww, sorry I made you sad! After reading so many wonderful comments I do feel better. (:

    lawolf: Merci, ça me fait du bien de l'entendre. Et comme dab, tu as raison. (:

  25. As Linda said above, The fear of disappointing can be stifling, but then the Kingsolver quote remedies the situation - the only thing a writer has is themselves. This is an awesome post Elise.

    I think that the fact that you are concerned shows the kind of writer you are. You have shown lots of courage getting in contact with an editor. More of that courage and things like disappointment will seem meaingless. You rock! Cheers

  26. You've done more than some, just by finishing a book. I think that's wonderful and people will like it.

  27. I must confess to having the same fears myself, although as you know I'm wondering if I will EVER have anything out there to read. Period. However, that being said, I have faith in your talent and I'll be the first in line to buy your book.

  28. Clay: Thank you Clay. Your comment just made me smile. (:

    Cherie: Thanks Cherie for stopping in. It's true that a few years ago I never thought I'd ever write a novel... thank you for reminding me. (=

    Rose: Thanks Rose. <3 And you WILL get your book finished. Everyone works at their own pace, but you'll get there. (:

  29. I know very little about your WIP, but, considering your humble attitude and the fact you obviously care about your work, I doubt it's anywhere near bad. I bet we'll be impressed, in fact. :)

    1. But....what if you're not. Then you'd be disappointed. There lies my dilemma....
      But thanks for the comment Melissa. Hugs. (:


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Comments are the best. Well, the nice ones are. (:
I do my best to reply to everyone either via e-mail,
directly in the comment box or by leaving a comment
on your site. Chat with you soon!

Also, not interested in your spam. Really, I'm not interested.

J'écris, donc je suis (:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...