Several weeks ago, my friend A.J. O'Connell did a guest post about publishing her novella, Beware the Hawk, on a blog titles Reinventing Erin. (OK, it was more like 3 months ago. I've been really busy.) And I was struck by a thought, and commented:
I wanted to bring this up, as it seems even more appropriate now than it did a few months ago. It's relevant because I'm required to submit my work somewhere as part of my thesis class, and I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet. And I have to, in the next few days. Because it's required. I had to email my instructor submission notes about where I was going to submit, etc., so I have a sort-of idea regarding what I'll do. (I'm playing it vague and loose here.) But then what?
Ahh, The Warning. I think the biggest thing that holds me back from submitting – I’m not scared of rejection, but I’m terrified of success. Success – having something published – takes the game to a different level, and the stakes are so much higher. What will people think of my work? What if I don’t find the same success with the next book/story/piece? Etc?After I start submitting, I will no longer be a writer-in-training. I will be a WRITER. A most likely rejected, unpublished write - but still a WRITER. And the prospect scares me, because I feel like I'm not ready, like I still have so much to learn. I understand that as a writer, I will be constantly learning and evolving in my craft, and I know that I'm ready enough, but I don't feel like a WRITER yet. I feel like the apprentice masquerading as the sorcerer (aka my thesis advisor), and as soon as she turns her back I'm going to foul everything up. WRITERs are supposed to be sage,wise, and insightful - but I don't feel like I'm even close to that yet.
Or is it one of those things - like in the song lyrics above - that you don't know you've crossed that bridge, you don't realize you've arrived, until you're already there? Am I nearing the end of the crossing, and I just don't know it yet?