Publishing can (and should) be scary

So I did a big scary thing today.

I applied for a writing opportunity that would be a huge commitment. Commitment of my time, my resources, my energy. I'm equal parts ecstatic and terrified.

And that's a good thing.

We talk a lot about creating distance from your work. You can't let the negative reviews impact you. Once you publish the book belongs to your readers. Don't let rejection impact your ability to keep writing.

This is all solid advice.

But you can take it too far. You can become so separated from your work that you lose that emotional connection with your words. In order to make sure you aren't hurt, you put less of yourself into your work.

The result is a less scary publishing process. But probably less successful.

Readers can feel the soul we poor into our work. If that's missing, your readers will know.

And that's why it's okay to be scared when you write your next story, start a new genre, make a big business committment, send those queries.

Because that fear is a result of caring. If we didn't care, there would be nothing to fear.

So today I did a scary thing and I'm not going to try to talk myself out of being nervous/terrified/nauseous. Those emotions prove I care. And if you don't care, then why bother.