I’ve never doubted I could write a novel if I put the time, the research, and the effort into it. Which I do most days. (Some days I just want to read.) Still, nagging doubts linger. What if my next book bombs? Would my publisher give me another chance to write a publishable book? Would the next book in the series disappoint my readers? That’s something that’s on my mind every time I start a new book.
I have to remind myself that not everyone likes the same thing, the same genre, the same writing style. It’s impossible to please everyone and, honestly, I wouldn’t want to. Recently, one reader’s comment (she gave my latest book one star on a scale of five) had me questioning if I was a good writer, a mediocre writer, or just plain incapable of stringing two sentences together. She then admitted that she hadn’t known the book she was reading was part of a series, even though each book can be read as a stand-alone. I felt better, but not much.
I’m not the most secure person in the world, and I knew from the start that you needed a tough skin to make it in the writing business, and a bucket full of determination. My friends who buy and read my books concern me the most. I don’t like to disappoint anyone. Several people at the Livermore PD, where I’m a volunteer, have bought my books, but how embarrassing if I got the police procedures wrong. Did I also tell you I’m a worrier?
No one has everything figured out. Everyone has moments of doubt and feelings of insecurity. Life is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes we feel ready to conquer the world; other times we want to hide in the security of our own home.
I’m a great believer of visualization. When I was asked to give classified viewgraph presentations to new hires at my last place of employment, I froze. The material was familiar but public speaking was way out of my comfort zone. The night before, I closed my eyes and visualized the whole presentation. From then on, that’s how I prepared. That’s also how I work out certain scenes in my books. Little by little I emerged from my shyness and took on more opportunities—like volunteering to be on author panels at conferences and doing book tours to promote my books. Who would have thought I could do that? Not me. It takes some of us longer than others . . . like centuries (smile) . . . to reach that point, but you put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. Life is too short to deny yourself new challenges.