Stories that Matter


Hey All! Well, I’m going to keep this short and sweet today as I’m making a final pass-through on my latest novel, Hidden in the Heart, before it gets sent off to my wonderful editor at OakTara. This is both exciting and terrifying. Putting a second book ‘out there’ is kind of freaking me out. I think I’m just settling into the whole being published idea, and fortunately my first book has been well-received. Part of me thinks, why don’t we just leave it at that? But of course the other more rational side of me says that this is really want I want to do with my life – be a writer. So I need to keep writing. And if publishers are gracious enough to want to publish my stories, I definitely need to go for it. Yet, it’s almost like dating all over again – putting myself out there once more and hoping that somebody thinks I’m pretty enough to ask me out. I have NO IDEA where that analogy came from, that was way weird.

But anyway, do you know what I mean? If you’re not published yet, maybe you’re still caught up in the excitement of wanting it so badly that you just can’t wait until somebody says YES! It’s a thrill for sure, but there’s a lot of excess baggage that comes along with that brand new Louis Vuitton suitcase. You can stuff all the old ratty t-shirts and ripped jeans in there, zip it up and hope they stay buried way down deep underneath all the new designer label clothes you’re now able to buy, but you know they’re in there. Those insecurities. Fear of failure and a million other things that you try to talk yourself out of on a daily basis. For me, they’re still there. Once in a while they make their way to the top of the case and stare at me, accusing, daring me to put them on again. And some days I do. But they don’t fit quite as well as they used to and I don’t like the way I look in them.

I am changing. Praying daily for more confidence. More conviction that I really am meant to do this, that I really am good at this. It’s hard not to give in to fear, isn’t it? But I’m trying. I’m going to get to work now, do a final spell check and then hit send. Pray for me if you think of it. 🙂

Published or not, what’s the most terrifying aspect of the writing journey for you? How do you cope with it? 

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  1. Richard Mabry on February 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

    The most terrifying aspect? Not what you’d expect. It wasn’t the long wait to finish the book, the agonizing process of getting an agent, the interminable period before an editor said “yes” and offered a contract. It was having the book actually in print, my work out there for everyone to see–and criticize–and second-guess–and… You get the picture.
    Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
    Congratulations on your journey thus far, and best wishes for smooth travel from this point.

  2. Cathy West on February 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Richard, I hear that! There is something strangely terrifying about having a book out there for the world to read. And then at the same time we worry that the world WON’T read it. I think we need therapy!! LOL! And yes, we keep coming back for more!

  3. Sherri Wilson Johnson on February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I’m totally agreeing with Richard! It’s having it finally out there for people to talk about. Especially friends and family who have known about the book for twenty years. It’s scary waiting until you hear those words–the ones where they say they love it and can’t wait for the sequel…the sequel you hadn’t planned to write but now are working on because if someone wants to read it, you want to write it.

    • Cathy West on February 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      But is IS fun, right, Sherri?! I can’t wait to read your book, and promise it’s getting to the top of my pile!

  4. Steven Belanger on February 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Now that I’m published, the drive to stay published–to publish something else–is even stronger than the need to get published to begin with. When I sold a second story, that need multiplied even more. I always thought that I’d get complacent, that I’d just bask in the glow…and not feel a bit like a junkie who needs another sold story fix. Very surprised it turned out like this.

    • Cathy West on February 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      So true, Stephen. Sometimes it helps to relax and not think about writing for a day or two – but I’m with you, I’m always thinking of what I can or should be doing to market my book and generate sales!

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