doubt

Self Doubt Strikes Again

Every time, right before I release a book, I have this unsettling doubt; this fear that no one will find my work worthwhile. Today is one of those days.

I’m sitting here this morning looking over my plans and preparations. With the release just two days away, I am having massive waves of self doubt. I have done everything I can think of, but my brain is still telling me “That’s not going to be good enough.” and I begin to spiral down into “What if no one buys this one? What if it flops? All the work you’ve put into this project, the money you’ve spent and plans you’ve made, gone. For what?”

I really hate days like today. The hard part is that I know SOME people will hate my book. Not every genre or story is to everyone’s liking. And on the flip side, SOME people will love it. I know that in my head, but the fear of failure is just as real (but sometimes twice as strong) as the knowledge that I’ve done the right things to succeed.

Even as I type that sentence, my brain starts firing off all of the usual spirals. “Have you really done everything you can? What about setting up another blog tour? What about a physical book signing? Why didn’t you call that bookstore and ask them again? I know they said no, but if you call again, would they change their minds? And what about other authors? Couldn’t you try to connect with Steve, Glenn or John to see if they’ll promote you on their sites? Oh, and what about the typos you found in chapter one? Are you sure you edited all of them out? What if you missed one and a reviewer reads it and writes how you’re nothing but another wanna-be-indie who can’t write a convincing story if his life depended on it?”

On and on it goes. I can still hear my self doubt taunting me. And I guess that’s what makes an author tick; the driving voices in my head, constantly adjusting the story, even as I’m writing the current scene on the keyboard. That same constant droning that helps me generate the story, and piece a plot together for four-hundred consecutive pages is the same voice that rambles on telling me that I’m not good enough. I won’t succeed. This one will be the one that fails and wipes out my book fund so that I won’t even have enough in the bank to try another or to finish the series I’ve already started.

In the end, I know the truth, and I have to trust that I’ve followed all the right steps. Much like a baker following a recipe knows that in the end, it will produce a great chocolate cake, I have to trust that if I’ve followed the right steps and done my work with honor, that in the end, everything will come together and be just fine.

Faith. That’s what faith is about; silencing the idiot in your head that thinks he knows everything but really doesn’t know squat when it comes right down to it. Instead, you trust that if you followed God’s plan and just did what he says then that inner idiot will eventually be proven wrong, and everything will work out exactly as God said it would. That is the essence of faith; resting quietly in what is to come more than the anxiety/fear/worry/dread of what MIGHT come, but never will.

So that’s what I have to do today. I have to trust that despite what my inner idiot is saying, I have faith that everything is under control, and I can settle these racing thoughts and just ‘be’. I’ve advertised. I’ve edited. I’ve created all of the online whats-its and whiz-bangs. Goodreads. Amazon. Blah, blah, blah. Now, I have to be patient and just let all of it do what it was designed to do.

Thanks for letting me rant. I needed that.

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