Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Secrets of KidLit: Anxiety

I've been feeling a little anxious lately.  A bit of the nerves. I think it's mostly because there's an awful lot on my plate these days.  I'm not really getting in a lot of writing and that makes me anxious.  I feel like I owe it to my agent to get the next book cranked out and instead I have about one hundred great starts that lose steam at about the half-way mark. I have to get cracking on lesson and unit planning for my classroom next year and that's certainly a great way to unwind.  Nothing says a relaxing day at the beach like rubrics!!  I've also had to get another degree to keep that same classroom so I'm up to my armpits in research methods and statistical analysis of peer-reviewed scholarly articles on special education which is about as calming as a gentle sway on a hammock with a glass of lemonade...from hell!  But that's just life.  Right?  The writer's life.

So, it got me to thinking.  What are the things that you, as writers, get anxious about?  What are the things that make you grind your teeth or wake up in the middle of the night with a head full of questions?  I'm asking because a lot of us Kidliterati folks have been there (or are there) and we might be able to help out.  I'll give you just a taste of some of the anxiety inducing things we've collectively dealt with during our writing journey:

  1. Not being able to get the words out
  2. Having the words come out but thinking they are terrible
  3. Having words that you love but being worried that you'll never find an agent
  4. Vomiting while trying to write a synopsis
  5. Vomiting while trying to write a query
  6. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to a critique partner
  7. Being rejected by agents and then being rejected again and then being rejected again
  8. Wishing that you were the one who got picked to be in a Twitter "Get an Agent" contest
  9. Being the one picked in a Twitter "Get an Agent" contest and then having to click "send" on your book
  10. Thinking that it might be time to hang up your hat
  11. Getting an agent and then losing your mind
  12. When it dawns on you that getting an agent is only half of the game
  13. Revising and then revising and then revising and then revising and then revising
  14. Going out on submission (barf!)
  15. Being told by a publisher that they love your book but there isn't room for it on their list
  16. Coming to terms that maybe your agent isn't the agent for you
  17. Realizing that getting a publishing deal is the beginning of the really hard work
  18. Not getting any love from your editor
  19. Wasting time writing clever quips about Donald Trump's hair on Facebook when you should be writing clever quips for your character to say about Donald Trump's hair
  20. Wondering if maybe...just maybe...your dream is very, very far away
So, let's open up the flood gates.  In the comments below, hit us with what makes you anxious as a writer.  What ties your belly up into a knot?  We've been there.  See if we can help.


  1. I never seem to escape the anxiety of feeling time slip by. While I know, I KNOW, that my subconscious is always working, and that downtime is great for story fodder, it's hard to accept the days when you intend to work but don't get to. Kids, man. They poop all over my plans. :)

  2. SO MANY THINGS. Having a fabulous idea and feeling as if you're writing it...not-so-fabulously. Having so many fabulous ideas and being afraid someone else will write them 1) faster than you, and 2) better than you. And time -- there is NEVER enough time.

  3. The unknown, and the waiting, and the worry you won't be able to get to the writing because of kids, and life in general. Then the waiting . . . and the wondering. And more waiting! :)


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