Trying Not to Panic When You’re About to be Published

This week my blog features a guest post by Harlequin Historical debut author (and my friend) Jenni Fletcher! In this post, Jenni talks about the about-to-be-published panic all authors (especially new ones) face!

Recently, I’ve been feeling kind of scared. Not a “terrified-for-my-life” kind of scared, but a low-level, “who-do-I-think-I-am” kind of fear. Probably because my first book is due out in less than a month.

Last night, I dreamt I got a bad review for it.

I was still upset even when I woke up and realised that it was just a dream. Now I’m afraid that the closer it gets to my publication date, the worse my anxieties will become. Starting a new career is scary at the best of times, but one where you can be criticised publicly on the Internet is extra scary. So reading Therese’s blogs has been a comfort because I know that I’m not alone. We’re both pretty scared.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Getting a book contract is amazing.

Ever since I can remember, the only career I’ve ever wanted was to write (honestly – I went to a career counsellor once and couldn’t think of a single other thing to say). But now that I’m doing it for real, I’m terrified that I’m going to be revealed as, well, a fraud.

The rational part of my brain knows this is paranoia. The other – at the moment, bigger – part of me is just scared of rejection. What if nobody buys it? What if I do get bad reviews? What if people think I’m being pushy every time I put an advert on Twitter? Trying to control all of these fears whilst trying to write another book is exhausting.

So today I’ve taken the day off from my current WIP.

I’m writing this with a glass of red wine in my hand (it’s South African – I checked!) because I’ve finally realised that if I carry on getting stressed, a) my family might not like me any more, and b) it won’t make any difference anyway. The book’s already out there in print – well, almost. There’s nothing I can do to change how readers will react to it and so, as much as I hope that they like it, if they don’t…well I’m still pretty chuffed with the way it turned out.

From now on I’m going to enjoy myself and (try to) ignore all the non-constructive bad stuff.

I’m going to focus on all the good things that have happened and not worry about the bad ones that might. Joining such a great community of romance readers and writers is wonderful and I’m incredibly grateful for all their support  as well as for the friends I’ve made. That’s the biggest positive of all. Romance readers and writers are really genuinely nice. They have to be. Because when you think about it, we’re all about love.

Thank you for this post, Jenni! Jenni’s debut, Married to Her Enemy, will be out December 2016. Until then, follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

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