Friday, June 30, 2006

Don't Worry, Be Happy

I think that writing turns people into worry warts. Because I'm not one to worry a whole lot. The Lord is in control, and as His Word says, all things work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Thing is, I don't exactly know how writing fiction falls into His grand plan. God might look at my writing, and shrug, thinking to Himself (if "thinking" is what you would call it), "Well, if he must, I'll allow it. But he's on his own."

Clearly, I don't know the will of God. Instead, I know the will of Ryan. And Ryan wants to become a published author. Well, okay, so I accomplished that with a short story credit. (Actually, soon to be two short story credits, as I just found out yesterday!) But I mean, Ryan wants to become a published novelist. And without any heavenly signs, I can't be certain how that will ultimately turn out.

I'm a confident person, actually. I'm pretty sure I'll eventually have a book published. Hopefully that book will be Mindburst. But this is where the worry kicks in.

You see, what if Mindburst is good enough to be published, and it sells fairly well, enough to convince the publisher to publish book two? Yet, the readers read book one and say to themselves, "Hmm. That was a decent story." Then, they forget about me. They instead, move on to another author. While my writing might have been interesting, it wasn't enough to make them want to read another novel by Ryan Bruner.

Which then means book two tanks, and my writing career is over.

Or, worse yet, what if book one makes it to the market, but sells poorly. Yet, due to how much I've learned as an author, book two is infinitely better. Thing is, book one leaves a sour taste on the lips of readers, and so they give up on this Ryan Bruner author altogether.

It is early to worry about such things, I suppose. But in the meantime, I can't seem to get my head out of book one. I keep analyzing it, trying to figure out ways it might not be good enough, and perhaps I should rewrite this chapter or that chapter or change a character's motivation or any other 1001 things I could do to the story. When does it end? Well, from what other authors have said to me, that desire doesn't stop until it is finally published and on the book shelves. And even then, the worry continues.

So, here I am. A worry wart. I've never been a worry wart. I don't even think I've called a worry wart. So, I keep humming the tune in my head, and sing the lyrics to "Don't Worry, Be Happy." It doesn't seem to be helping.


Martha O'Connor said...

Well, here is my little trick, Ryan. I pray for God's guidance and the will to carry that out. Usually, following that, I have a good day of writing. Sometimes the world explodes and I have to deal with other things.

If I really can't help praying for some specific thing, I do it and then append "if it be Thy Will" at the end. That helps me let go and Let God and all that is left in place of my worry is peace.

I don't think I really learned to pray properly until I got into recovery. Congrats on the story, btw!

Lyrehca said...

Indeed, congrats on getting another publishing credit!