the Fear of writing - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

the Fear of writing

you know what's funny? ever since i've written and published my book, SO MANY PEOPLE have come out of the woodwork to tell me that they've always wanted to write a book. they have a story to tell. whether it's non-fiction based, or fiction- they can't let the story go.

so then i ask every one of them the same question... "well why haven't you?"

and you know what's the most interesting part? of them has the same type of response, "i'm afraid of rejection." "what if people hate it?" "i'm terrified to put my thoughts out there." "it's scary to be judged."

and they are totally right.

i mean, it IS terrifying.

but the best part for me (or maybe worst part depending on how you look at it), was that those thoughts never even crossed my happy little mind until AFTER i'd already released the book and put it into the universe.

only once i realized that other people were actually reading it, did i want to throw up constantly. that fear of rejection crept in and with each rating, email, text message, review i got- i was terrified that people were going to hate the story i created.

i guess i never realized how truly personal writing a story can be. even when it's completely fictional. it still comes from somewhere inside of you. and "In Dreams" came from somewhere deeply buried within my subconscience. not to mention my heart, soul and what feels like my guts.

so i'll be honest- when people don't like it, it freaking hurts. and while my mind constantly reminds me that i can't please everyone and that of course people are going to hate it and think it sucks- my emotions go through the ringer each time it happens. i'm sure i'll get better at letting that type of criticism go- but it's still hard. and it makes me question what the hell i'm doing sometimes. like what i'm thinking.... writing books- you're an idiot jenn, look, these people hate what you wrote, why would you keep writing?

so i get why people who want to write books are scared to. i understand where the fear comes from. but you have to think- who are you writing for? i mean, i didn't honestly write this book pandering towards one group of readers or another. i didn't really write this book FOR other people. i wrote it for myself. because i wanted to write it. i had a story i had always wanted to tell and i finally had the time to tell it. so if you have a book that has been inside of you for years (like this book has been for me) and it hasn't gone away, you should give it life. even if it's just for you. write it, put it out there, and you never know what might happen. other people might actually L O V E it. and how fantastic would that be? :)

listen, i know i haven't written some amazingly beautiful piece of prose. i've never taken a writing class, i don't know anything about how to realistically write a book the way a professional writer would tell you how. i probably break all the "rules" when it comes to book writing. but if you want to know the truth- i don't want to write exactly like everyone else. i don't want to follow some formula.

all i know is that i write with my heart. i try to tell stories that make people feel something. i write the way i talk. i write stories i'd want to read. i try to create main characters that i'd fall in love with, want to be friends with, or at least not want to throw off a cliff.

i'm over the freaking moon when people enjoy the story i've written. that fills my heart with happiness. sincerely. the same way that my heart breaks a little when people don't like it, or think it's complete crap.

but i'm happy that i didn't really think about those parts before i published the book- because i might not have.

the same way some of you aren't writing or putting your book out there.

but we all have to remember, that no one else can love what we've written if we don't share it with them. no one else can learn from our lessons, meet our characters, or fall in love with the perfect guys we create, if we don't put our books out there. what if every musician, singer, movie maker, writer, tv producer... what if they were all too scared to put their final product out there because of their fear of rejection?

we'd have nothing to watch or listen too.

bottom line of this post- YES, it hurts when people don't like your book. but i can't even tell you what it feels like when people DO like it.

so write. it's worth it.

xoxo J

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