Saturday, 20 December 2008

Sending a story out - a major psychological barrier overcome

I have overcome a major psychological barrier which affects some budding (or in my case, re-budding) writers.

It's the fear of sending something out.

It was late in the evening. I'd finished the horror story the night before; all I had to do was to send it.

But I didn't. I reread my story over and over again, checking it was as good as I could make it. I composed carefully the submission e-mail, including all relevant information, then reread that multiple times.

All that was needed was to click send.

At that's where it became a nightmare. I couldn't do that one tiny click of commitment, sending my baby out into the world, alone, naked to be judged on its own merits.

So began behaviour which was like obsessive compulsive disorder. Had I attached the right file to the e-mail? I had. Are you sure? Yes. Let me check again. Yes. And again. Yes.

I haven't sent out a piece of fiction in probably over a decade. Finally, I decided I'd need some sort of incentive to do it.

You can have a beer if you overcome your fear of clicking send.

I paced the room for a few minutes. This really was a big moment. By clicking send, I would truly be announcing to the world that I am a writer again. It wasn't even the fear of rejection that worried me. What got me was that I would be making an absolute commitment to writing once more, as I would naturally need to follow it up by writing more words to send out, maybe earn a penny or two if I'm lucky.

I couldn't take it any more. I closed my eyes, leaned over the laptop and quickly clicked send; in the movies and books, such an important moment is always slowed down but it went as if time speeded up. I left the computer and ran from the room to the kitchen and pulled the door to the cupboard where we keep the alcohol. I opened a can and poured a cold one into a glass. Just one, in celebration.

And how will it go? I had an e-mail acknowledgement within thirty-eight minutes from the ezine I'd sent it to, they were up pretty late too. As soon as I hear how it went, rejection or success, then at that point you, my dear reader, will be the first to know via this website.

Ladies and gentlemen, after his identity as an author went into hibernation for a good long while, I can now proudly announce that Damon Lord the writer is definitely back.