The Terrifying Elation of Success

I hate disappointing people.

With the publish date of DB:C looming ahead (March/April), my anxieties of success and failure are culminating. I know this isn’t unique, but I can’t decide which I’m most afraid of. Failure is obvious. I don’t want to disappear into obscurity. My ultimate goal is for people to escape and find comfort in the worlds I’ve offered them. I want to ignite the feeling within a reader that was first sparked within myself while reading some of my favorite stories throughout my entire life. This world has been mulling around in my brain for as long as I can remember, expanding and growing with me. I don’t want people to reject it, because they would be rejecting me and what I find beautiful.

Do I really think everyone has to love my book? Of course not. Never, but I just hope that at least one person is inspired. I hope that one person’s day is brighter. I hope that one person thinks of Alperin as they close their eyes to go to sleep and maybe visit for a while in their dreams. I guess that is asking for a lot and I’m reflecting my own reactions to fantastical tales.

Success, however, is even more frightening. As I mentioned earlier, I hate disappointing people. If my first book is super successful and the masses adore it, nothing else I do will compare. Or it’ll feel that way at least. Expectations will rise with each new publication and the pressure will be enormous. I imagine that’s how some authors felt who broke into the public eye. The literary darlings on whom the majority of a populace, or subculture, hangs on their every written word. I think it would block me, maybe? Or does it empower?

That’s another fear, however. What if I get too big for my britches? (I’m from the south, deal with my sayings.) I don’t want to get to a point where I think I can do no wrong and my writing suffers for it. I think vanity and lack of insight of one’s own imperfections can stunt imagination. Or worse yet, mutate it into something unrecognizable.

Then of course will be the group of people who hate my work and let everyone know it. Then on top of them the other group of people who just pretend to hate anything popular for shock value. With all of the lovers come the haters. I don’t like hate. And I don’t like disappointing people. I don’t want to fail, and I don’t want to succeed. I think this is why, despite the fact that I’ve written several books since I was a teen (well, books that are novel length), I never had the cajones to query or publish. I hate rejection, who doesn’t? I hate rejection almost as much as I hate falling short of others’ expectations.

I would never dare assume that I would be successful. In fact I have a tendency to nay say myself to a point of irritation. I’m terribly insecure. I go into everything assuming I’ll fail, and when I don’t I’m pleasantly surprised. When I do, I was already prepared for it. That’s not a good outlook on life, I know. I’m not sure how to approach this, to be honest. I’m not sure if I should go in thinking the best and possibly be disappointed or go in thinking the worst and possibly be surprised.

I know this particular blog wasn’t super advisory or helpful, but as promised at the beginning this blog is also about my thought process while approaching publication. I felt this is an important (and rather driving) aspect of it. However, I must try and do my best. Whatever the positive/negative consequences.

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