I have not been completely honest.
A long time ago, in this very galaxy, I liked sports.
Okay, I never enjoyed playing the damn things. There is nothing worse than being picked last or striking out in front hordes of 1970’s elementary school kids.
Don’t believe me? Go back and watch The Bad News Bears. That movie nails my childhood. I am Timmy Lupus – with more than a smidge of Tanner Boyle thrown in. I never would have survived without a little Tanner..
I enjoyed pretending to be good at sports. I played out scenes in my bedroom where I single-handedly won the big game, knocked out Leon Spinks, or outran and out-jumped the future Caitlyn Jenner. My dad set up a pitching net that I could throw the ball against in the backyard (behind a six-foot privacy fence). I even caught the ball a few times on the bounce back.
When no one was looking, I was practically a jock. I liked stories that went with sports even if the actual events made me want to hide. I loved narratives in which I was secretly fast, strong, or agile. I just hated it when reality showed up to prove me wrong.
On a bad day, writing can be a similar horror.
I am currently 27,659 words into my next middle grade novel, Moon Bait.
The word next might give you pause. What happened to my previous novel?
Well, I didn’t think it was good enough so I never truly marketed the poor thing. My standard writing strategy is to work my butt off on a piece, workshop it with the best readers and writers I can find, and then come up with a reason not to expose myself to rejection. I may send out a handful of queries, but I never give it my all.
Just like in sports, it’s all about pretending. The novel I’m working on will be a smashing success. I know it. Only once I finish the thing, I’m less certain about putting it out for everyone to see.
Thing is – I’m a much better writer than I am an athlete. There is no reason to sabotage myself. I’ve won awards at writing conferences, published in small-press magazines, and received positive feedback from established authors.
So I am making a promise right here in this blog.
I’m going to market the next one. This one. I mean I’ll get behind the book I’m working on right now. I’ll do a full-court press, throw a Hail Mary, and give 110 percent to Moon Bait. If the book doesn’t get picked up, it won’t be for lack of courage.
There, I said it. Out loud and everything.
That’s the equivalent of telling my fourth-grade friends I’ll be trying out for little league come spring. Once a kid puts something like that out there, they got to follow through.
Note: this is my first time participating in the Insecure Writers’ Support Group. To read many excellent posts on writing and insecurity, check out the rest of the posts at: Insecure Writers Support Group