Are You Ever Scared of Being Published?

I can honestly say that the thought never crossed my mind. I slogged away, writing, revising, rewriting, querying, and querying some more. And then I received an offer of publication.

Suddenly, I had a whole new thing to stress about. What if people hate my book? What if they think I’m a joke? What if they laugh at me? What if they rip my writing to shreds?

I never really thought much about what it might be like to actually be published. I just knew that I wanted to be. But now, I”m doubting myself, and worse, I’m doubting my own writing. And it’s more than just doubts. I’m downright scared. Like, have-a-nightmare-every-night scared.

I honestly don’t know how to deal with it. I never imagined this scenario and I”m not sure what I should do to make myself quiet worrying. Does anyone have any advice for me?


12 thoughts on “Are You Ever Scared of Being Published?

  1. I just attended a writer’s conference, and this was something the writers talked about. One of the authors is a NY Times bestseller and on other bestseller lists, yet she received a scathing review in a national magazine. It goes to show you can’t please everyone. If you received an offer, then obviously someone liked it and it’s possible it was more than one person who liked it if your book went to an editorial review board where they vote on whether or not to give you an offer. You can feel good about that, because so often that’s where the offer dies–is at the review board. One of the aspects successful authors have is a thick skin. So what if someone rips your writing to shreds or thinks you’re a joke. Does that mean you wrote a bad story? No, it doesn’t. It simply means they didn’t like that particular story, which they are entitled to their opinion. It’s possible the person giving you a bad rap is someone who normally reads horror and you wrote a romance. Whatever the reason, have confidence in yourself and don’t worry about what others say.

  2. Don’t resist whatever you’re feeling. It’s human nature to have those feelings. The more you can be with that fear, doubt, so on and so forth, the more familiar it becomes, the more you’ll be able to be with it. And then, it will move along. And come back. And move along. Hoping that’s a little helpful?

  3. Amy,
    Don’t let your inner critic rule you. Develop some positive affirmations around each fear. You are good enough. You worked hard to get where you are. You had several agents like your work and you didn’t get where you are by mediocrity. Some people will try to judge you and you may get a negative review on Kindle.
    Just be aware that this is the way others get their self worth. Maybe they can’t write a book, or get published, but they can tear others down. My philosophy is, that if is there issue, if someone has an honest critique or I feel I have a part to do to be better, I will do it and move on. I will not bathe in the negativity of another person. Once I do that, I give my power over to them. . . and then how can I write?
    Be who you are with no apologies. Secretly, I am envious of you. But rather than try to tear you down or feel less than, I will use your success to continue to work harder (bathing in hope) until I get published. A little secret: there are more people pulling for you than pushing against you. Many more. Good Luck.

  4. I’ve been writing for 6 years and only just started submitting. I always tell myself, “it can be better, it can be better.” Well guess what? It can always be better! But at some point I need to try and get my writing out there.

    You’ve done that. Your publisheres obviously believe in your work and you must too considering you’ve been writing manuscripts for awhile now. Writing is not an easy job, we both know this, so you obviously enjoy it/enjoy what you write, otherwise it would be quite an easy thing to walk away from.

    Haters will always hate. There are people who either never read/did not like “Harry Potter,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Jane Eyre,” whatever. Those people don’t matter. Focus on the people, and there are many of them I’m sure, who will read your work and enjoy it, and maybe even decide to write one of their own.

    It’s understandably quite stressful! But you’ve done it, you’re getting your work published and it’s not through some fluke, it’s because a publisher knows your work is ready. You know it too!

  5. Oooooo, hon, I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice, but just wanted to stop by and say (((((hugs))))) and to say, remember, you cannot please all of the people, all of the time ok 🙂

    I’m sure, if/when I ever get published, I will feel EXACTLY the same 🙂


  6. Well, I can offer the following words I wrote in a recent post about doubt:

    “Change is best dealt with when I quiet my fear of it, when I open the gate and let it run around in circles kicking up the dirt until it finally settles down. And doubt? Well, doubt is just something I must swim in from time to time. It is the means to an end… to get myself back on solid ground. I am about as well-equipped as I can be. The perfect balance of hard and soft to deal with life’s challenges and to seize these opportunities to learn and grow.”

    It’s all good. You are as well-equipped as you can be and as ready as you need to be. 🙂

  7. These comments are so wonderful, honest, and real. Very positive. Certainly take comfort in that! I have not published in the way you are, but it was a big step for me even to blog. I’ve feared lots of things for too long. But I have found that was is scary is not the publishing of the post but the adapting to a new definition of myself as a writer. In your case, you are a writer getting published rather than a writer trying to get published. It’s a new place and new is unknown and scary. I defer to the other comments here on pushing through fear or doubt.

  8. Take a deep. You will be fine. Change is always hard.
    People are going to love your book. You’ve worked hard and done a good job. You can’t please everyone, but you’ll make many, many people happy. – Just keep telling yourself that.

  9. I think sometimes this is MY biggest fear, but I’ve decided not to let it stop me. People are going to like your work, you’ll see. And those that don’t, well just let them fall to the way side. You can’t please everyone. It will drive you crazy to try. Just let go of your work and believe that you did the best job you could in that moment.

  10. The thought of the WHOLE WORLD (specifically people I KNOW) reading my writing is at once the most exciting thing and terrifying. let me say that again: TERRIFYING. I get it. Congrats for not letting the fear win. Blogging was my first step toward conquering that fear.

  11. As others have stated before me, have confidence in the fact that you’ve been accepted by a publisher – someone (probably several someones) who thought your story was compelling enough to take a chance with their money and produce it, so it can’t be that bad! If your agent/publisher/ editor liked it, I’m sure your target audience will, too. Anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth worrying about. Keep the faith. You’re a great writer! 🙂

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