A writer friend called a few weeks ago to say she was launching her newest book and feeling a whole lotta nerves about it. She felt good about the quality of the book, and happy with her promotional plan. But still she was plagued with the idea that the book might not be well received.
Another writer friend confided that she, too, had terrible nerves when she launched her most recent book.
I wrapped up The Fine Art of Deception a few weeks ago, celebrated by having a glass of wine with my husband and then kept working on Book II. I really didn’t feel nervous at all. However, that night, I’ll share with you that I didn’t sleep! I’m not much of a worrier. At all, really. I’m a calm person, I love to meditate. But apparently those writer nerves got ahold of me that night!
Fortunately it didn’t last for more than just that one night, but there really is something to that emotional inertia that takes over when you complete a creative project. My Dad used to say that nervousness is just a healthy response to your desire to do well. I think he was right.
People write for different reasons. I started writing because I was looking for a satisfying creative outlet and wow, I love to write. I know a few writers who have an unbearable sense of competitiveness about their writing. You know them, they’re writing to be famous writers. Talk about nerves. I don’t think I could write a complete sentence if that were my goal. I’m not sure how they do it.
I love writing fiction like nothing else. There’s just something so perfect about the process of developing a good story. I can’t imagine not doing it each day. And as I look back, I think I’ve been writing creatively all of my life. When I was in elementary school I used to come hone and write these funny little stories in my notebook. I still have a few of them. I often think of developing one or two of them into a novel.
When I was older, stories would float through my mind and I would write them down on whatever I had nearby – scrap paper, post it notes. Then I’d share them with friends. That was always fun. Now I’m doing that on more of a structured scale. But still for the joy of doing it, to improve and to share.
Remembering those reasons and enjoying the process is the best cure for writer nerves.