Afraid of Being Scared

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Even the bravest fellas fall victim to the heeby-jeebies, don’t they? Now matter how many mummies you’ve faced in closets, doncha think there’s one creepity creep that just plain scares the crackers out of you? I’m sure Cap’n Kirk must have had, like, ten minutes of total flip out when they told him he would have to fistfight the Gorn, didn’t he?

I mean, if said creepity being didn’t exist, wouldn’t you be sort of like Superman, or Evil Kneivel? You’d be, like, bring it on over breakfast, wouldn’t you? Gasoline and cigarettes for lunch? Whawhooof – dang, lookit that fireball! Doesn’t scare me.

It turns out that finishing the book, while difficult, was nothing compared to the next challenge, the real issue, the stay-awake all-nighter of all time. You’re a writer – you know. Having somebody read it. Duh-duh-DUH!!!

There must be ten million what-ifs running through my head…what if they don’t like it…what if I left a bajillion typos…what if they don’t get my hero…what if they put it down and tell me I’m STOOOPID?

The difference between a novelist and someone who says I’ve always wanted to write a book is that the novelist writes it. They face out the evil task and do the deed.

The difference between a novelist and a published author must be this next step of leaping across the yawning chasm of what-ifs and approaching the external reader challenge calmly and professionally. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

It’s not that I haven’t had other readers – one of my daughters actually liked it. The other hasn’t quite gotten around to finishing chapter two. My wife almost finished if, and my sister got well past the middle. Perhaps it’s too long…

So, it’s down to paying a stranger to read it. I’ll give you fifty bucks to read my book…wanna buy a watch?

Maybe they could give me some tips and pointers about the book…except that I am so beyond the tips and pointers phase. That phase was, like, two rewrites ago. This book is the bomb, the deal, the cat’s sleeping gear.
This one is better, brighter, more connected. This one is good.

Soooo, what would a reader do? Find my errors, I guess. Tell me they didn’t get it, I imagine. Probably tell me it’s too long, maybe.

I’m not afraid of the reader. I’m afraid of the rewrite if they don’t like it. Or, should I pull a Captain Kirk and boldly go to publishing?

Do you see? Can you feel the terror? Can you see how hard this part is? This is literally like seriously hard, like trying to land a B-52 on a football field at night during a hurricane hard. Passing a watermelon through your nostril…well, maybe not that hard. But hard!

So, Mr. Knievel, you may have the motorcycle and the cool jacket…wait a minute. That’s just costumery stuff to make us think that you’ re brave, but maybe you have the heebie-jeebies, too. Maybe some things make Superman do a little squirt in his shorts, too. THAT’S why he wears that cape!

There’s no antidote for the heebie-jeebies but to do what you’re supposed to do.

Be brave, little Piglet.

Oh, Owl, I’m afraid I’m scared!

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Author: John Reinhart

Technical writer John Reinhart says his mission is to get his readers excited about the possibilities of and wonders of planetary science. A happily married father of three from Ventura, CA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cal State Chico, has taught college courses, and is working on his second novel.

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