It's August 1st already and the first Wednesday of the month. So it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group started by Alex Cavanaugh. It's a place we can share our insecurities, fears, hopes and dreams.
This week a writer friend mentioned to me that she had gotten positive feedback from an agent. The agent suggested some vague adjustments and then wanted to see the manuscript again. My friend made some great changes, but mentioned that she was now scared to send it because she wasn't sure if it was what the agent wanted.
It made me think of all the young skaters I coach. How they work so hard perfecting certain skating skills but when it comes time to perform in front of a judge, they tense up, over think, and become timid. I understand why. I remember how nerve racking it is to be the only one standing on that cold slippery surface with all eyes focused on me. It's hard to pour your passion into something and open yourself up to criticism.
But performing is what the sport is all about. Sometimes the judges won't like it. That's ok because getting feedback is how students learn to make it even better. Skaters can't let fear paralyze them. And neither can writers. It's scary to send out manuscripts that we've spent months polishing but if we don't we will surely fail.