Monday, April 03, 2006

Fear of Success

I signed up to blog for today thinking that I'd have something really wonderful to talk about. Okay, it seems my muse is a bit over worked these days. On sheer impulse I emailed an editor at a large publishing house and queried her about an idea I have for a series of contemporary single title books. And to my astonishment she responded within 20 mins.! Now for those of you unfamiliar with this, it's unheard of in this business to get a response that fast. She has asked to see the proposal for this series. I have most of it finished. The first three chapters and synopsis of the first book, plus the beginnings of the 2nd and 3rd synopsis for the next books. It has occurred to me over the past week or so that there's this little thing going on inside of me. It's called fear of success. Anyone else out there in cyberland ever experienced this before? I'm a firm believer in go with your gut feeling. And right now my gut is telling me that I could very well have something successful here with this idea. And to be perfectly honest, the thought of this kind of success really scares me. As writers it's very easy just to plod along writing and publishing the status quo, but it takes a lot of courage to forge a new path, to come up with a fresh idea and run with it. I'll be sure and let you know how everything turns out with this proposal and believe me when I say it if sells, you should be able to hear me shouting from the rooftops no matter where you live!


Alfie said...

Funny thing you should write about this today. I was just thinking about it. And I think anyone who isn't a little afraid of success is a fool. The potential for HUGE success is a very real possibility in this business more than some. A little fear helps keep you grounded and from letting whatever success you attain go to your head. It helps you be aware of the changes that come with that success.
I'll have my fingers crossed for that new proposal. Hope it's outrageously successful. (20 minutes to hear from an editor, huh? Sounds like an indication it has the potential to be.)


Nancy Morse said...

The idea of success can be daunting when you consider the repercussions. Friends may be jealous. Spouses might feel threatened. The bigger the success the less time you may have to devote to other things. I think it all comes down to that eternal plague called fear of the unknown. You just don't know how things will change. I look at it differently. I'm more afraid of what will happen if I don't go for it, not what will happen if I do. If success turns out to be too big for your comfort zone, you can always throttle back later on, but if you don't go for it, you'll never know what might have been. If big success is on your horizon, batten down your hatches and enjoy the ride.

Colleen Thompson said...

My fingers are crossed that you'll soon be forced to learn to adapt to success!

But truly, I understand the fear. Some success is so huge it really can change your life, and biologically change = stress. Just look at how many lottery winners end up wishing they'd never won and how many celebrities and hounded until they feel as if they're hunted.

Fortunately, writing is fairly anonymous. And people who are only yourfriends when you're struggling aren't really friends at all. Though I think it's natural for them to grapple with jealousy (who doesn't?), if they're worthy, they'll defeat it and wish you all the best.

Good luck!

Allison Brennan said...

Tracey, fear of failure and fear of success are different sides of the same coin. They can control everything you do--and don't do. But I know you, and I know that you have courage and that's the only thing you really need to battle fear. It won't go away (did I ever tell you it took me two glasses of wine to get the courage to query my agent in the first place?) and it can be debilitating (it took me two months to gather the courage to start my current WIP) but you WILL persevere. Besides, you have me to kick your butt :) and you know that I will!