Tsunami of Crap

I was listening to a podcast last week when I heard this particular phrase (not sure which podcast, but probably Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing), a tsunami of crap. They were talking about when Amazon opened wide the vaunted doors of publishing allowing just anyone to make their writing available to the masses unleashing the said tsunami.

Which immediately led me to wonder if my book would eventually join not the shining stars of the self-published, but the tsunami of crap.

I’ve spent the last few days mulling that over.

The first book I wrote was really, really bad. No plot. Bad characters. It was definitely crap.

The second book I wrote was slightly better. A whisper of a plot and the characters had actual goals, so there was that.

The third book was okay but had a lot of major problems. The plot was shaky, but the characters were better. Editing it was going to be a nightmare though since it changed directions about 6 times during the course of writing it.

This is actually my fourth book, the one that I am wrapping up now. I have officially crossed the threshold that all writers are familiar with – you’re getting near finishing and you start to doubt. You doubt your abilities, your experience, everything. The inner editor is screaming about how sucky your book is and it would be better to chuck the whole thing and be done and never release this steaming pile of filth into the world.

It gets harder and harder to sit down every day and write, because why? Why should you put any more effort into a book that’s going to suck anyway?

Every time I doubt, every time I think about closing my laptop before I reach the goal, I look up at the little deadline post-it that is stuck to the wall above my desk. I gave myself a deadline.

But the thing is, I’ve been here before! I’ve given myself deadlines before and just blown past them with an avalanche of excuses. So why should this be any different?

Because this time I recognize them for what they are: excuses.

So what if the first draft sucks? They all do! That’s what editing and editors are for! And deep down, I know that despite all the flaws and weaknesses in this particular draft, it’s the strongest book I’ve ever written.

So what if it’s full of grammar errors and typos? They all are. That’s what editing and editors are for!

So what if nobody ever buys the book? You got the practice. You added to the 10,000 hours required to become an expert. You learned something. If nothing else you learned you could do this.

So what if somebody buys the book? Maybe they’ll actually like it. Maybe they’ll want more. Even if they don’t you still win! You wrote a freaking book!

That’s what it boils down to, you know. Fear of failure.

The fear of joining the tsunami of crap is just fear of failure in disguise. I’ve let fear of failure paralyze me before. I see the signs.

The question is, can I outrun it this time?

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