Social Icons

14 Aug 2012

End to the 'What Ifs'

I'm giving Top Ten Tuesday a miss today because I've had another post on my mind for most of the morning now.  Something that can't really wait for Monday.  This summer things are changing for me.  In a bit I'll be taking my first driving lesson.  In September I'll be applying for my PGCE. 

I think about driving and while I absolutely can't wait to be on my road independently I'm also terrified.  I've never driven in my whole life so the worries set in.  What if I have an accident? What if I completely suck at it.

I think about applying for my PGCE.  While it's the dream I know I want to do I also think of all my responsibilities.  I'll be leading a class, teaching them and helping them.  It's up to me to teach them English, Maths, Science, Art etc.  I'll have tons of planning to do.  I'll be moderated, there's Ofsted, parents evening etc.  And alarms start in my head.  What if I can't do it? I've seen it happen easily to a couple of teachers.  They couldn't control anything and parents complained.  What if that happens to me?

And now WriteOnCon is here and I've been writing out a query and looking at my WiP and thinking: What if I can't do this and it's all terrible? What if I never get the right query and what if the story is terrible and never right? I know I'm not the only one out there but I still see people getting to these stages of finishing their MS and getting ready to query.  I'm holding back and working too slowly on my WiPs because I'm actually scared of getting to that stage.

And then I watch this.  And I'm reminding about why I write, why I love it, and why I want to do it.  When I start work again in September I'll be reminding about why I want to teach.  When I get into a car I'll be reminding why I want to drive. 

Put an end to the 'what ifs'.  The questions you tell yourself that spark the worries in yourself and prevent you from living that dream.  Because all dreams have those terrifying obstacles and stages.  And we have to stop letting them get to us.  I'm slowly realising with my writing that I can't get the story right all by myself.  It's creeping up to that time where I need someone else's view and I've been pulling away and making excuses: Oh, well I need to do another draft.  It won't be polished after 3 or 4 drafts.  I just need to go through it and make sure there are no mistakes. 

If there's a time to get tips and feedback I'm wondering if this is the best opportunity I'll have to get critiques.  Otherwise registering will have been a waste.  Why sign up and not take the opportunity to get help? I'm not ready to query properly and I use that as my main excuse but I've been wondering if it would be helpful to get some tips and ideas now.  I'm absolutely terrified of people seeing my work but then I have to tell myself that it's the dream.
Has anyone else been holding back or overcoming their anxieties?

I posted my query up here.  Time to be brave! :D


  1. Do it, Robin--submit that query to the WriteOnCon forum! And let me know when you do it so I can read it. I promise you, I'll give it a fair, honest, and gentle critique. And if I walk away weeping because it's so awesome and I feel like a complete failure... I might tell you... or I might just hide in a cave somewhere living out the rest of my days on dried tofu. ;)

    Seriously though, Robin, this is one of the great benefits of WOC. If you want to be published, 1) people are going to have to read your stuff at some point, and 2) not everyone is going to like it. Those are the scariest parts of the whole writing experience--at least initially. WOC gives you the opportunity to experience both of these before you "officially" send your query/ms to agents. You'll get feedback, and the opportunity to tweak, and to learn from others. Swallow your fears and inhibitions and hit send. You won't regret it. :)

  2. Don't get me started on anxieties -- how much writing time have I lost stressing over submitting work to betas or agents, tweaking and tweaking and tweaking? My nervous determination for perfection is my biggest achilles heel, because it's impossible.

    Post your query! You have nothing to lose, and the WriteOnCon crowd are really very lovely people (much kinder than AbsoluteWrite, whose tough-but-fair criticism was a bit of a trial by fire... but I love them all too).

  3. Definitely do it! I WANNA READ IT! :D But in all seriousness, it was the best decision I made. Everyone wants to help and even if it does sound harsh, it's definitely helpful :)

    Good luck driving and applying for your PGCE too ^_^

  4. Go, Robin, do it. I agree with everything Colin said. And the great part of WriteOnCon is getting critiques and giving critiques.
    Critiques are a big part of the writing life, you know ;)
    Let me know when you post it. I want to read it ;)

  5. If you guys weren't here I'd be hiding away and working on the 100th draft. And I still wouldn't be ready. :)

    I finally got some balls and went for it. I've posted the link up in the post. Thanks, you guys! :)