Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fear of Failure

For your pleasure and to my delight,
has stopped by to discuss the fear of failure 
and her latest release

Take it away Misha!

Fear of Failure

Thanks, Yolanda!

I have to admit, I like to keep a positive outlook when it comes to my writing career. After all, writing on its own is one of the most challenging things I can do. Stories are complicated things. Add to that the idea that people will actually read a book I’ve written, that I’ll have to depend on them actually liking it for me to make money… Yeah. Suddenly it just adds another dimension to my doubts and insecurities.

And this is the root of my most persistent worry since I’ve decided to take up self-publishing. I know that my decision to side-step trade publishing was a good one for many reasons that I won’t be going into now. I know that I’m good at what I do. Not just because my mom told me, but readers who never knew me went through the trouble to get in touch just so they could tell me how much they like what I’ve written.

I love those moments. It’s such a boost to know that someone out there liked what I wrote.

But none of that takes away the fact that I basically turned away from centuries’ worth of conventional publishing wisdom in order to follow my own path. It’s a scary thought and for the most part, I’m completely alone in dealing with it.

Deal with it I must, though. Mostly by shoving it to the back of my mind. I try focusing on what I’m doing to make my career a success. I try setting big goals and small goals that are calculated to get me there. I remember that every little thing I do takes me one step closer to making it.

And then I write.


Anyone else struggling with a fear of failure? How do you handle it? 

About the Book

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.




Excerpt

This had to be what dying felt like. Floating outside my body, waiting for that final link to my life to be severed, only vaguely aware of indescribable pain. More screams than I could count rose up around me. Hundreds of footsteps beat against tiles. I couldn’t open my eyes if I wanted to. Not when it was easier to listen and wait. People shouted for a doctor or an IV, or a thousand other things that made no sense. I listened to all the chaos, trying to untangle it in my thoughts.

Soon, I could go. The peace around me was so relaxing, completely out of place in the clamor I heard. I wanted it. To rest forever in that peace. Why not? There was a very good reason, but I couldn’t call it to mind.

A numb buzz shot through my body and shattered my serenity.

It happened again. Only this time was more of a sharp pulse. The third time jolted like lightning. The fourth…Hell. Suddenly, the screams were coming from me. My heart’s relentless thundering added to my torment.

Pain.

Everywhere.

My chest burned like fire. It hurt to breathe. Cold air drove down my throat and into my lungs, amplifying the inferno in my chest. My skin felt scorched. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t right.

I had to see. I had to understand why pain dominated my existence like this. My eyes were fused shut. My breaths grew shallow, trying to draw air when there was none. I tried to clench my teeth. I bit hard plastic. A pipe. Cold air suddenly forced back into my lungs, out of time with my own breathing. This was wrong. It wasn’t safe. I had to see. The best I got was a little fluttering of my lashes.

A high-pitched beep shot through my head. It repeated again and again. I wanted to reach over and slam my fist into its source. My arm wouldn’t lift. Something kept it trapped. A scream rose up from the depths of my soul, but the pipe jammed inside my throat stifled the sound. I only managed a whimper, trying my best not to gag. More air blasted into my lungs against my will. What was going on? I was trapped in my own body, but why?

I needed to move. I had to move. Now. Before… Even… Even though… Panic gripped me. The beeps increased at a frenetic pace. I needed to move. To be gone. Didn’t matter where. Just not here. Not defenseless. Not trapped.

The air sucked out of my lungs. I gasped, choking on nothing, strangled by invisible fingers. I tried to convulse my body. To twist myself free of what’s holding me.

Nothing.

The air rushed back in a cold flood. Seconds later it left, only to return in the same amount of time.

There was a rhythm to the air. In… out... in… out… The breaths were slow—sleep-like. I concentrated on this rhythm, striving to clear my head. If I wanted out, I needed to think. Calmly. Clearly. Eventually, those irritating beeps slowed. I tried to focus past the sound.

Voices buzzed about me, adding to my need to see, to do something to protect myself. No one seemed to pay attention to me. Good. I could use that to my advantage.

I centered my every thought on moving my little finger. It finally jerked, but collided against something solid. So the thing trapping my arm was physical and too heavy for me to lift. It was better to be trapped than paralyzed. With luck I could escape my restraints. I tried my other hand, but it was cemented stuck as well. Right leg. Left leg. Damn it! Both trapped. I had to move!

No.

No, I needed to stay calm. I tried to make larger movements, biting the pipe in my mouth against the urge to scream in pain. There was no wiggle room.

Fearing that I might be blindfolded, I focused on blinking. It worked. My eyes opened and the blur faded, revealing ceiling tiles. Why would there be tiles? Where was the canvas of hospital tents? The distant sounds of bombs dropping? The power of their explosions rushing through my blood?

No. That wasn’t right. I wasn’t there.

Where was I, then?
**********

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:




47 comments:

  1. Have to shove it back there in your mind indeed. Always nice to get emails from someone you don't know saying they enjoyed it.

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    1. Yes it's the best feeling in the world.

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  2. Authors less than a century ago self-published. I think we've come full circle now. So no need to fear!

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    1. That's a nice way to think about it. ^_^

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  3. Authors who go the conventional route have also to deal with fear of failure, just the forms of it are different. Not to mention other pressures. Best wishes for Endless.

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  4. I like your approach, Misha. Listening to your readers, rather than worrying about the negatives is the way to go! You're fab and I'm sure Endless will be a success. Keep writing!! And we'll keep reading!! :) Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks Nicola! You're fab as well! So glad I got to "meet" you. :-)

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  5. Alex is right. Even 80 years ago, authors often published their own books. Small presses cropped up, then larger ones, until we got to the big five who have gobbled up a lot of competition.

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    1. Diane, that's true. Once Alex mentioned it, I thought of a few very big authors that self-published initially.

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  6. I definitely deal with the fear of failure, but for me, it's better than the fear of never tried.

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  7. Taking a new path is always scary, yet exciting. And you can learn so much. Congrats on choosing to take the leap and go against the conventional.

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    1. Very true. Sometimes it's just necessary to keep going even when feeling uncertain.

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  8. I understand Misha's fear of self-publishing. I'll re-release my previously published novel sometime, but I keep putting it off... Pure fear. :(

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  9. Great post, luv the excerpt! :)

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  10. Hey, Misha, thanks for visiting today and staying on top of the comments. Congratulations and much success with your Endless tour. Great post! Writing is an adventure of the most unique kind and I think self-publishing is a courageous choice! But I'm with you!

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  11. I can honestly say I have absolutely no fear of failure. That doesn't mean I'm all cocky about my ability and sure that I'm gonna earn millions of dollars and have fan clubs crop up for me all over the world. Nope. All I mean is that success is a very subjective thing. Money has never been a driving force for me. Those wonderful emails you wrote about, where readers take the time to let you know how much they loved something you wrote? THAT is success to me. Writing a book, and publishing it... THAT is success to me. Anything else is just whipped cream on top of my sundae. :)

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    1. I completely agree with you there. The money isn't really the main thing. For me, it's about being able to make a living doing the thing I love. :-)

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  12. Self-publishing can be scary but so is traditional publishing. We're all on our own path. Keeping writing is the best thing we can do!

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    1. Very true. It's scary to get the book out there, regardless of method.

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  13. I've worked with a few small publishers, and I worried more when I was with them than from self-publishing. Of course, self-publishing brings its own set of fears, but we also have more control on our end with them--except the sales/readers part. Congrats, Misha!

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    1. I know what you mean. My time with my former publisher was MUCH scarier than my experiences self-publishing.

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  14. I'm with you - just put that fear somewhere dark and don't feed it anything. Then, write. :)
    Congrats, Misha!

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  15. Fear is a tough thing to deal with... however; getting through to the other side means going through it... I am sure you will do well with your book... I don't write books but when I write I have a little fear that it won't be good but I hit publish and get rid of the fear... xox

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    1. Very true. Nothing gets rid of the fear as fast as doing something regardless.

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  16. Hi humans Yolanda and Misha,

    Delighted to see Misha's tour landing on your lovely site, Yolanda. Misha, continue with your optimistic visualisation of your writing career. You know what's best in your heart. Thus, onwards with your own unique style of writing.

    Fear of failure? Nope, no way. In my human Gary's case, it's fear of success. Do you understand that concept?

    Congrats and well done to the resilient Misha. Take care, adorable human, Yolanda.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny! :)

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  17. Fear can be just as devastating as as actually failing at something. Self publishing is a hugh risk, and the thought of it is one of my biggest fears right now. Good for you to face it and carry on.

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    1. I agree. But the only thing that ensures failure is not trying.

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  18. I still think that's such a gorgeous cover. And I wish Misha well on her self-publishing journey!

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  19. Congrats, Misha. Intriguing story and a great cover.

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  20. That fear is always there. I do my best to stare it down and not let it stop me. Just keep on writing!

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  21. There's definitely more weight on your shoulders with Indie publishing, but there's also so much power. I don't think you can have the one without the other. The weight can definitely be crushing if we let it.

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    1. I agree, Crystal. There's more control, but also much more responsibility. I try to take a break when I feel overwhelmed.

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  22. I think fear of failure is part of anything that requires taking a chance but that's what makes it exciting, too. I'm always afraid I am doing it wrong but, so far, that hasn't stopped me. I go into slumps sometimes but, so far, I've always worked my way back out.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

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    1. That's my worry. That the decisions I make now will lead me off-target down the line.

      But I guess there's nothing to do other than to take aim and course correct if it looks like I'm going off-course.

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  23. Indies are the modern day pioneers. They're willing to risk the covered wagon and treacherous landscapes in search of a dream.

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  24. Never be afraid to fail. EVER!

    If I were, I wouldn't be a baker. Fails are the greates lessons ever.

    Cheers.

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  25. If you've never failed, you've never tried. Many people are going the self-pub route as often a traditional deal means you still have to do all the promo! Working on that discoverability is hard. I wish you well with Endless, Misha!

    Thanks for hosting Misha, Yolanda!

    Denise :-)

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Would love to hear from you, say hello and leave your blog address - I'll visit, but please take with you my undying gratitude that you stopped by for a read. Be well, be happy, and may your blog surfing bring you joy!