Saturday, November 5, 2011


I have always been an anxious person prone to rumination and insomnia. I started getting panic attacks when I was in high school. Some time in college I went to a psychiatrist (once) about the problem (yes only once) and she told me I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I proceeded to do nothing about it. (I am 27 now and I have done nothing about it.)

Some people are anxious about social situations, or aspects of life over which they have no control. Not me. For the very most part I am anxious only about the things I have direct control over, or at least those I feel I can control.

For example:

I am anxious when I feel I am not doing enough to manifest my dreams or goals into reality. I'm not talking about the Secret or anything; I'm talking about good old obsessive hard work prolonged over anywhere from a month to forever.

I am anxious when I work too hard at a project which has the potential to fail anyway (given my own perception of failure).

I am anxious when I think I am forgetting something important, which is all the time.

My only other sources of anxiety revolve around competition and judgment. I am anxious when I submit my work (dance, writing, art, etc) to be critiqued or judged by others.

Having established the context of my neuroses I will now move on to my present day situation.

It is time for me to send Redlisted out to agents. Well, it's nearly time. The manuscript is 99.95% done. I need to do some line editing. I need to write a cover letter and a synopsis. And then I need to grow a pair and send it out.


I want to die.

I looked at one (ONE) agent listing on AgentQuery last night. AgentQuery was like, okay Sara, tell us what genre you want to submit for. And I was like open the drop down box and FULL BLOWN PANIC ATTACK.

AAAA! OH GOD! I want to submit a FANTASY novel! (kind of!) FIGHT OR FLIGHT!

Oh God there are lots of agents on this page. Okay let's look at one of them. Oh, she seems really nice from her blog but still I think she's secretly Satan and should I query her she will send me back a response something like the following:
Dear Sara,
Do the human race a favor and stop writing.
Agent Lady

Would I believe it if I got a response like that? I would like to think not, but realistically I would probably spend at least a day listening to "No Surprises" and feeling like I had wasted the last two years.


I thought about it some more. Bad idea.

I realized that the scariest outcome of this entire project would be if the book were actually to get published. Worse yet, if it were to be published and noticed by the general public. Because the idea of critics reading it and saying stuff about it--EVEN GENERALLY KIND THINGS--makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.

I am not just worrying about these things idly, I am physically shaking and my gastrointestinal system is in distress. I woke up in the middle of the night last night just because I needed to have an extra panic attack at 3AM.

All outcomes seem horrible, and I am consumed with fear of everything.

But really, honestly, in a sane world, the worst thing that could happen would be if I were to let these stupid neuroses get the best of me, chicken out, and not submit anywhere. That would be too sad and pathetic even for me.



I will do this even though I am terrified. I will do this even if part of me doesn't even want to succeed. Because I need to show myself that I am strong. And even if I fail I will have succeeded. Because I tried.

1 comment:

  1. You can totally do it! You already are 95% farther than most writers ever get -- a finished draft! Just keep going.

    (But, I totally understand the fear of turning your work in to agents/publishers/etc. I'm terrified every time I turn in an essay or post writing pieces to my blog. I have to imagine that fear is multiplied a million times when one is about to do what you are about to do!)