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I believe it takes a certain amount of confidence and courage to put your work out there for all the world to see. So, I think I must have a little of both to have done it myself, but sometimes, not so much. I love my books. I put a lot of heart into them, and most of the time I feel pretty excited that I'm able to share these stories. But every now and then when a new borrow or sale pops up on my graph, this irrational (or rational) fear weasels its way into my brain. "The book is no good, I'm a hack, people are actually reading this thing, and everyone will hate it."

Does anyone else ever feel this way? How do you overcome it? Surely even J.K. Rowing has felt like this at times?
 

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I think everyone experiences this from time to time, Cady. You're definitely not alone. I'd love to say it gets easier with time, but I'd perhaps reframe that to, "Our way of handling it gets better over time."

The critical voice is a nightmare sometimes. But the key is just to keep on believing in your stories and pushing on through it. You sold a copy, so you're doing something right.

Good luck!  :D
 

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CadyVance said:
I believe it takes a certain amount of confidence and courage to put your work out there for all the world to see. So, I think I must have a little of both to have done it myself, but sometimes, not so much. I love my books. I put a lot of heart into them, and most of the time I feel pretty excited that I'm able to share these stories. But every now and then when a new borrow or sale pops up on my graph, this irrational (or rational) fear weasels its way into my brain. "The book is no good, I'm a hack, people are actually reading this thing, and everyone will hate it."

Does anyone else ever feel this way? How do you overcome it? Surely even J.K. Rowing has felt like this at times?
Not once a book has been out and had some decent feedback, but that minute after I send out ARCs, I think "what if my team has been lying to me and this is terrible?". I sent out to my betas right around Christmas for my last release, and understandably, it took forever for people to read and get back to me due to the holidays. Of course, in my writerly brain, that translated to "they've read it and they're trying to figure out how to nicely tell me how terrible it was".
 

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Ahhh, good old imposter syndrome. I think we all suffer from it Cady, at least I know I do. It's the worst for me when I receive a scathing review that tells me exactly how horrible my writing is. When that happens I try to remember the good reviews, and also that I'm really writing for me. I have a story to tell and while I'd love it if people shared that story I'd still write it even if no one else read it.

In a few weeks reviews will begin pouring in for your books, and you'll be able to see just how much your work touches others. That helps to a degree, but I don't think any of us ever escape that whole imposter thing.
 

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Ugh... all the time. It gets to the point that my wife can't hear about it anymore. No matter how many people say good things, I find a way to doubt myself.

Then... at other times I read something I've written and think "Huh, maybe I'm not so bad after all"...
 

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CadyVance said:
Thanks everyone. Glad to hear I'm not alone! :)
You're not alone!

I suffer from this big time. On one hand, I have faith enough in my book to send it out into the world and expect people to pay to read it. On the other, I can't believe I expect people to pay to read it!

On one hand I've had very positive reviews with only a few lukewarm reviews. On the other, I've not stirred up enough passion in a reader or written dangerously enough to make anyone hate it! (yes, this is something I say to myself)

I'm fighting near writing paralysis right now as I fight against this imposter syndrome.

Ah well, not to derail your thread with my own woes. I simply meant to commiserate and got carried away with myself.
 

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I can fix that.  Anytime you start thinking that...look at Veronica Roth and her last book.  I think she got at least 100 1 star reviews within hours of it going on sale.

Oh and OP, I don't like your hair.  It is so pretty and looks like it will do what you tell it to do. 
Just teasing on the hair part but not everyone will like your writing or your hair.
 

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I've always loved writing since childhood unfortunately I've also suffered from a large inferiority complex most of my teenage years and into my early adult years. I never thought I'd have the nerve to actually publish something. When I joined Twitter I became friends with author Stewart bint, I explained that I loved writing and wish I could be an author. Stewart said," have confidence and go for it" I took his advice and thanks to him my first short story is out with another coming soon followed by the collection. I've had some wonderful feedback (still waiting for more reviews) but the same doubts you've mentioned still plague me when I pick up my pen. Luckily I'm able to shrug them off and my diverse range of short stories (same genre just variations in horror) will allow me to monitor which stories my readers seem to prefer. We are all creative souls and I'm sure every artist in every discipline feels like we do from time to time, I think one of the tricks to overcoming that little negative voice is to see every result, no matter how small (i.e one sale, one review) as avindication that you are on the right track and that there are those out there that really do like your work.
Best of luck with your sales and future projects ;D
 

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Over the many years, publications, reviews, and publicity, I've experienced a number of changes with how I look at this business. For example:

- I no longer fuss nor fret when a bad sales day rears it's ugly head. I've come to learn that all of the distribution outlets, including Amazon, experience hiccups and reporting delays. It's just part of an indie's life.

- Bad reviews don't impact me the same way as they did on the first few books.

- I've lost faith in my ability to predict what readers will like vs. not like. I've missed every single guess, estimate, and crystal ball projection so far.

- My to communicate, verify, reassure, and share with other writers (such as this forum) has diminished considerably. That is most likely due to a higher level of self-confidence.

- Hitting the publish button is now an anticipated event. I never really dreaded it like some do, but now days I look forward to finishing a project.

I could go on and on about things that use to bother me, but no longer do.

But... of all the things that cause us indies worry, for me, having concerns over what readers will think of a new title has never gone away.  I don't think they ever will. I just live with it, put out the best produce I can, and go with my gut.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
cinisajoy said:
I can fix that. Anytime you start thinking that...look at Veronica Roth and her last book. I think she got at least 100 1 star reviews within hours of it going on sale.

Oh and OP, I don't like your hair. It is so pretty and looks like it will do what you tell it to do.
Just teasing on the hair part but not everyone will like your writing or your hair.
Oh, trust me, my hair definitely doesn't obey me when the humidity ranks up. ;)
 

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Oh, yeah. I hit this on a periodic basis. Every now and then I look at what I'm writing and start questioning what the hell I'm doing. Then the urge to tell/see where the story is going overwhelms my negativity and I continue to write.

More importantly, I remind myself to ignore the crappy sections and just plow ahead-the messy bits can be fixed in editing. If I am REALLY stuck on a section of the story, then I hit the caps-lock key and put in a section that just describes what I'd like to see in that part. When I'm done describing it, I release the caps-lock and continue with the proper narrative. The block of capitals serves as a quick visual cue that I was stuck and that needs to be rewritten, and if my editors see it, they know I was stuck and need extra help.

This is why our books need editing. We know there are going to be rough patches where our writing really sucks because we couldn't quite figure out how to bridge from Scene-A to Scene-B. Let it happen and then let our editors know where we had problems. The editor's second-set-of-eyes input can help us work out the problem area. The editor knows and expects there will be sucky parts. It's the editor's job to catch the parts you missed and suggest fixes.

Other writers who deal with this:
[list type=decimal]
[*]Stephen King-The story of how he threw his manuscript into the fire is legendary. His wife reached into the fire and pulled it out before it started burning and saved it, thus saving his career as a writer. He still wrestles with this self-doubt, even though he is one of the most successful writers in history.
[*]J.K. Rowling
[*]John Scalzi-Just recently blogged about this issue.
[*]Me-I just went through an episode of this yesterday. Had me blocked up for an hour or two, then I wanted to finish the scene I was writing so I could get onto the scene I wanted to write.
[*]Pretty much every writer, really… You are not alone.
[/list]

You are not alone in this. :)
 

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I have a woman who emails me once a week to tell me I'm going to hell because I write about witches and all my characters are "wanton" women (her word). She ends each message with a hearty "repent for judgment is at hand." Every single time I email back: "Thank you for reading. Your support means everything to me." I have come to the conclusion that some people just like to complain. Now I just push it out of my mind. I really don't let what others think of me come into play. Not any more. Is it hard? Actually it's freeing.
 

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Just today, before you started this thread, I re-opened my published book and read the first two chapters, wondering if they suck.
 
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