One of my friends from long-ago is the unrivaled King of Snark. He prefers to think of himself as the Crown Prince, but I think he’s being modest. And right now, even as I write this, I am working my way into a full-blown crisis of confidence because of him.
Okay, well it’s not really his fault. I was already in mid-crisis long before I contacted him.
I just asked him to read a chapter from my newest book and give me honest feedback, and now I’m freaking out while I wait for him to get back to me. Not because I’m afraid he’ll hate it and tear it to shreds, but because I’m afraid he’ll say he likes it and I won’t believe him.
You see, in Fat, Fifty, and Menopausal, I don’t have a lot of filters. One would think that should be fairly obvious from the title, but now I’m not so sure. It seemed funny when I thought of it; it seemed funny when I wrote the first draft. But now? Now I’m starting to have doubts. I’m scared I’ve gone too far. Even the title might be too much, I’m afraid.
I’m from a generation of women who don’t talk about personal things like Menopause. Women who lie about their age. Who refer to themselves as “curvy” or “voluptuous” but never ever come right out and say the “f” word. What the heck is wrong with me? Why in God’s name would I write a book about being fat, fifty and menopausal? I’m afraid this is all too personal, too much. That I’ve crossed the line into an uncomfortable level of self-disclosure.
What if no one finds it funny? What if the King of Snark comes back to me later tonight with nothing more than a patronizing comment like, “It’s cute. Thanks for sharing”?
Part of me hopes the book comes out and disappears without a trace like my other book in the “Humor” category. That no one ever reads it and we can all just politely agree to pretend that it never happened.
At the same time, I really do believe in this project. I wanted to write it because the last five years of my life have been sheer hell, and I feel as though the only thing that got me through it was my sense of humor. There were days when finding a reason to laugh became a survival technique, and that’s what I’m trying to convey with this book — that it’s crucial to be able to laugh even when things are looking pretty dark.
My inner critic is telling me to cancel the pre-order on Amazon and stick to the relative safety of writing romance novels about people who don’t really exist outside of my imagination. My inner critic is a bit of a jerk, to be totally honest. I’m not listening to her.
I want to be the kind of writer who takes risks. Who pushes the envelope. Who walks that really fine line between doing something brilliant or something really, incredibly stupid.
I don’t know about the other writers out there, but this — this feeling of terror mingled with anticipation, of pride mixed with panic, of hope muddled with doubt — this feeling that I have right now is why I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl pounding out short stories on a toy typewriter.
Sometimes in life, you just have to take a risk and work without a net.
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try. — Seth Godin
This was written as part of the Insecure Writers Support Group. To find out more about this wonderfully supportive group and find out how to join the blog hop, click here.