Being a Writer Means Living in Fear

Someone is going to pay to read this book… I’ve got to do better than this!

Those are the words which went through my head as I read one of the chapters I had just written.

It was a sobering moment.

Peter Pollock looking worried as he speaks

My sister saw this picture and commented, “You look like there’s a tiger in the room and you’re hoping that if you act like everything’s normal it will go away without eating anyone!”
(image courtesy of Blogworld/NMX )

Assuming that people actually buy this book, there’s going to be someone (and, God willing, lots of someone’s) who wants to learn about web hosting and will go out to work and earn the money to pay for the privilege of reading the drivel I’m churning out.

That puts a lot of responsibility on my shoulders.

I don’t know how many hours my reader will have to work to be able to buy my book, but however many it is, they are putting their faith in me that I’m going to write something worth the time they put in to be able to buy it.

I’m more than a little afraid that I won’t succeed in writing something worth their time and money.

Greater than that though is the fear of the comments I’ll receive.

There’s going to be criticism. It’s inevitable. Not everyone will think it’s perfect.

I know that….but how am I going to handle it when it comes?

I’ve poured my heart and soul into this book. It’s the culmination of nine years of experience in the industry and it showcases for all to see exactly how much I know and understand about web hosting.

What if it turns out I don’t really understand it all that well at all?

There is already fear when I send chapters off to the editors about how they will respond.

… and yes, I said editors, plural, there are three of them!


Each and every one of them gets to tear the manuscript apart in their own special way.

I don’t know which is worse, the one who tells me entire paragraphs that I have carefully worded don’t make sense, the one who tells me that I have no grasp of the English language and how to use punctuation, or the one who I picked myself as being a technical genius who gets to explain to me exactly how dumb I am and what a poor grasp of internet technologies I have.

They’re actually all really quite nice about it, but every time I send something to them, or even worse, get something back from them, I get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach….

Psychologically and emotionally there is so much that goes into writing a book. I know I’m not completely normal and some writers are much stronger emotionally than I am, but here’s a list of just a few of the ‘fears’ of writing:

  1. What if I don’t get it finished in time and my publisher cancels my contract?
  2. What if the editors hate it?
  3. What if the technical editor tells me the things I think I know are wrong – do I really understand it well enough to write a book on it?
  4. What if the book doesn’t sell?
  5. What if the book DOES sell and people hate it?
  6. What if I get negative reviews?
  7. What if it’s so bad I never get to write another book?
  8. What if people LOVE it? Where will this journey take me if that happens?

So many ‘what if’s’! I know that time will tell, and I shouldn’t get so emotionally attached to it and affected by it, but despite anything you might have heard to the contrary, I’m only human!

Are you a writer? Do you suffer from the same fears?

Are you a reader? When you dislike books, do you consider how hard the author and the editorial team worked to turn out something good?

About PeterP

I am a blogger, author, stay at home dad, speaker, web hosting trainer and geek (I was so excited to get an iPad that I actually made up a song and dance about it). I am English by birth, but currently live in California with my wife and our three children. I ran a web hosting business for nine years and found that many, if not most of my clients had never learned how to use any of the functions associated with hosting so I wrote a book to try and teach just those skills. I must admit to having fallen in love with WordPress (possibly a little TOO much) and I honestly find it hard to understand why anyone would use anything different to build a site! WordPress is wonderful! My passion is to help others achieve their goals with their websites/blogs. I believe that, with a little help, anyone can have an awesome site.

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