I have discussed many times all the symptoms and effects of my PTSD. I still deal with several of them on a weekly, if not daily, basis with the biggest one being fear. I still get nightmares. I occasionally have flashbacks. Those aren't the problems I usually need help with though. It is the constant insecurity. I am terrified of rejection, of not being good enough. In fact one of my trademark moves was to snuggle with my cat before a book signing to calm the nerves then come home and cuddle with her again, either to cry about the failure or celebrate an unexpectedly good day.
That fear follows me everywhere and has the ability to halt progress on my work without me even realizing it. I watch other authors as they sit and write daily. They promote like crazy and attend signings all over the country. It seems they are releasing a book every six months if not more while I sit back and observe. Why not me? I have been known to whine. Why can't I do that? Why don't I have more books out? The answer is simple; I'm afraid.
Not counting the close to two dozen book ideas I have files for stacked up in my office, not counting the two I am currently writing side by side, just the books that are finished and only need to be edited and published, I am sitting on six books ready to go. They have been written, in some cases they have even had a quick run through for major editing concerns and a few have had a beta reader or two go through them. They just never moved beyond that stage.
I'm afraid. I have these big ideas of how things are going to go when I publish the next one. I can picture how I would incorporate another book into my display at shows and I have a list of nearly one hundred places to promote my books. I have excerpt ideas to use as promos and teasers. I even picked out tagline for some. I have ideas for covers. Some books have special swag that would be fun to hand out. All of these plans fall short though because I don't complete the process.
Every time I start to go through a book I get overwhelmed. Just as I have ideas filling my head with ambition while I am writing, I get bogged down in the possibilities of failure when I try to move forward. That frozen feeling at one point stopped even the writing part of the process. I am thankful I have gotten past that but now when I finish the drafts of the books I am working on there will be eight, yes eight, full books ready to be edited and published.
I make excuses such as I don't know how to make promos and teasers because I don't have photoshop. I am still very new at the publishing thing and I don't know how to format. I don't have the money to order swag anyway so why bother creating any? I can't afford a good editor and I don't want to put out junk so I should wait. All reasons I have used in the past. The are excuses and nothing more. I didn't know how to create a website but through trial and error I have learned. I don't know how to make a newsletter but I subscribed to several so I can learn to do that too. I can learn to edit better myself to save money and just have someone go through to fine tune. I can barter with people to share our talents. It is all possible if I can just find a way to get through the fear.