Self-Doubt in the Land of Art

There is no going back now. The first book is out there. On one hand it is just a collection of short fun zombie stories I put together. On the other hand I wrote it and my own lingering self-doubt tends to dominate my thought process. I have ventured off into unknown territory and I am not going to lie, I am terrified.

What if no one likes it? What if it just sits in the online store for months on end drawing not a whiff of interest? Does this mean at long last I have to admit to myself there is no future here? Is it confirmation that I am just another deluded person who thinks they can write? Do I get to pack up the dreams into the hope chest and lock it away in the closet?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. Next month my first novel will be out there for everyone to see. A few months later the second. In fact, over the next six months I have three books ready to go. I have one in the editing stage and one almost done. Within the next year it is very likely I will have six books for sale. Only, what if I throw this book party and no one comes? Where do I go from there? It really scares me in a way I can’t begin to describe.

I spent almost an hour with my finger hovering above the publish button on A Very Zombie Holiday. I actually had to will myself into doing it. I have spent a lot of years in my life being told I couldn’t do this thing called writing. I then spent a lot of years believing it. Now I am just taking a leap of faith. I am not stupid. I know that just because I put it out there doesn’t mean it will sell. This doesn’t worry me nearly as much as the thought, “what if it is bad?”

When I decided to do this my only desire was to have people who were not friends and family read my writing and enjoy it. My self-doubt is like a plague hanging onto my skin. The book was published on Saturday and luckily I was really busy and didn’t think about it much. Today, I haven’t been able to stop. All the self-doubt gets tangled up in my brain and it feels like a dark cloud beginning to hover. I know my old enemy depression is hovering near by and I am trying to ignore it.

Despite all of this I did it and I am proud that I did. I love to write. I hope some people love to read what I write. I don’t know what is next for me if I keep putting out books and no one reads them. I am kind of stubborn so I imagine I will just keep writing. I am not unique in this world of depression or self-doubt but I am trying very hard to not let it control me. It’s all a grand adventure now. Thanks to all of my friends and family who encourage me. Who stand by me and say, “don’t be stupid, hit the publish button.”

A Very Zombie Holiday US Amazon Link

A Very Zombie Holiday UK Link

A Very Zombie Holiday Barnes & Noble

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

9 Responses to “Self-Doubt in the Land of Art”

  1. I think we all struggle with the inner critic – in my case she is brutal beast that beats on my confidence way too often – and the trick is to find ways to silence that little voice that says “you can’t.” Writing is first an foremost something you do for yourself. At the very least, you’ve done something you enjoy and you’ve written books you like. Those are both pretty amazing accomplishments. 🙂

    • I agree. I am happy I went forward with publishing the first book (no matter how much it made my head feel like it was going to explode). I still plan to release the novel at the start of June. I started the ride. I am going to see where it takes me.

  2. Congratulations! I know exactly how you feel, down to that hovering finger over the Publish button. Great job on just hitting the button and seeing what happens!

  3. I don’t know a writer who publishes with zero trauma. 🙂 I am glad that you hit the button. Your collection is on my Kindle. I will be slow to get to it since I’m currently reading… um… six books, I think. I apologize for making you wait!

    • I know about having too many books waiting to be read. I refuse to tell you how many I have on the grounds it may make you faint. Thanks for buying the book.

  4. I love the title! Good cover too. I’ll be doing the same thing in about a week, publishing a collection of shorts to test the waters before tossing a novel into the deep end. Congratulations on pushing past that anxiety. I’ll be happy to put up an honest review up once I get to reading it, unfortunately like you and Terri Jones, my reading time is stretched thin right now as well (especially with trying to get my stuff in shape to publish).

  5. It’s a totally brave thing to publish your own stuff. It’s so easy to write a book for talented people who can write great stories, but it’s so hard to get them published.

    You believed in yourself enough and your writing to share it with the world. A zombie book isn’t like a vampire book, or a romance book or even sci-fi so your market is hard to capture. But for the people who are craving a good zombie book will appreciate your hard work and your talent.

    Even if it sits on the cyber space book shelf, it is still out there for someone to read.

    I wish you all the luck, and I too will stress and worry once I finish one of the two books I’m working on and dare to brave the market and query hell…

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