The whole venture is starting to feel like a minefield. To begin with there is the nagging self doubt, every time I put pen to paper. The fear that what I write is riduculous, trite and quite possibly unreadable. Luckily, I have a kind friend, who reads what I write, encouraging me and bolstering my fragile ego. The secret fear is always lurking though, that as a kind friend she is not telling me the truth
Having navigated that nightmare, it's time to decide whether to put what I have written out there. I have explored several routes, one of which was sending the prerequisite sample chapters off to agents. Invariably the emails came back, almost as soon as I sent them out, with the standard notices of rejection. Some meaningless and anonymous while others didn't pull any punches and left me never wanting to put pen to paper again.
Having dusted myself off from this debacle, I tried the self-publishing route and this has had lots of positives in its favour. Primarily, it's easier to avoid the scathing critics but it also seems ultimately pointless when nobody reads what you have written, critically or not. There was the initial rush of satisfaction that something had been achieved but that quickly fizzled away to nothing.
And so I try to broaden my net and let people know that I have novels out there, available to read but, after a while, it starts to feel relentless and ultimately ineffective. There are so many other writers doing the same thing and everything that I do feels as though it is being sucked into a vacuum.
Somehow, it makes the whole experience of writing far less pleasurable than it once was. I don't want to feel as though it is fraught with danger and self consciously make everything about self promotion. I don't think that's who I am. My kind friend seems to think that all of these concerns are normal but I'm not so sure. Maybe writing for an audience is simply not for me.