I posted this on Google+ and Facebook, but I felt I ought to post it here as well.
I have come to the conclusion that I really ought to write and publish more books.
This seems to be obvious, but it kinda hit me today that if I want to make a career out of this, I need to have more stuff for people to buy. Two books does not a career make.
I also realized that I’ve been holding myself back ever since I published The Clockwork Giant. I managed to publish Le Theatre Mecanique only because I didn't fret over it until I considered it publishable. I went by a schedule. I wrote it. I edited it. I sent it to beta readers. I edited it again. I published it. I haven't looked at it since. It’s out there, and that's good enough for me.
With The Guild Conspiracy, I over analyzed every little thing until I couldn't write anymore. I had to stop. Again, with The Wizard's Heart, I super over analyzed every tiny aspect and became paralyzed with fear of it sucking major suckitude, causing me to stop working on it.
I’m not saying I should care less about the end quality of my books, but I really need to stop going for perfection. I need to write the best book I can, edit it to the best of my ability, and put it out there for people to read.
I’m not going to get any better at writing if I agonize over every single word I write. I’m not going to publish more than a handful of books if I can't let go of that idea of perfection.
I need to stop worrying so much and just write the stories I want to tell, naysayers be damned, because this crippling paralysis of needing to write something perfect isn't helping anybody. I’m never going to write the perfect book. I can only write the best book I can and give it to the world to either enjoy or disregard.
I think stepping away from my "serious" writing has helped me see this. It’s helped me realize that I need to stop being such a hardass on myself and go back to loving what I do every day.
Committing to NaNoWriMo this year to work on a silly book that doesn't matter has made me think about writing the way I used to--something fun. Not work, but play. I want to get back to that. And even though this project is for fun, I have every intention of publishing it someday. Because I’m not going to let fear of rejection, fear of imperfection stop me any longer.
So, I’m going to have fun with Wizardry Schmizardy. It may end up a load of crap, but I’m going to have fun writing it. I’m not going to worry about being perfect. I’m just going to write.
And when I go back to working on my other stuff. I’m just going to write it. I’m going to edit it. I’m going to follow a write, edit, beta, edit process, and when I reach the end of it, I’m going to publish. It won't be perfect, but it will be the best I can make it at that point in time.
I just don't have time to sit around and wait until a story is absolutely perfect before I publish it, not if I want to make a career out of this. I especially don't have time now that I'm about to have a baby. I no longer have the luxury of time, and it kills me that I wasted these past two years worrying and fretting over my books.
So anyway, this is to say that I'm done waiting. I'm done worrying. I'm done being afraid of rejection.
I am a writer, and writers write.