The fear of the colossal screw-up.


I completed “The Rise of the Forgotten” recently, and boy oh boy, finishing a book series comes with a whole pile of emotions (and I am far from emotional). The first and biggest was sheer relief. As I plodded through the plot and tied up all those loose ends I leave hanging all over the place, I worried I’d never actually finish it, that I would be stuck in this writing purgatory forever. Writing “The End” at the bottom of this manuscript (purely for sentimental reasons) was a moment of accomplishment. At the very least, I could say that I completed a goal I had set. I had a complete trilogy.

Moments after, I freaked out.

I’m going to level with you, as a reader I have a love-hate relationship with book series. I love them because finishing books makes me sad, and knowing there is another one to continue the story is exciting. I hate them because more often than not (at least in the ones I have read, please direct me to books I should be reading) the first book is superb, the second is “ok” and the third? *sigh*.

I don’t want anyone to sigh. I want the third book to resonate as much as the first. I want people to love them ALL. (Yes I know, I am incredibly greedy. I also want Harper Collins to call me soon and offer me a lovely book deal).

So here I sit… waiting for feedback from my beta readers, hoping they will appreciate this strange thing I poured myself into and driving myself to the brink of sanity. (I’ve also been reading “writing craft” articles and making long lists of all the things I do “wrong” according to other writers, and yes, I know that’s crazy too).

I read a quote which according to the interweb was said by Aristotle, but from my other research on the web, it’s actually said by Elbert Hubbard (don’t know who he is? me neither, probably why people said it was Aristotle):

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

I don’t want to do nothing, I have things to say and someone to be, so I guess I need to be ok with criticism, but I’m still going to hope I managed to avoid screwing it all up.

What freaks you out about accomplishing your dreams? What is stopping you?


2 thoughts on “The fear of the colossal screw-up.”

  1. First, HUGE congrats on finishing! That is such an amazing accomplishment, I don’t even know where to begin to bestow praise and admiration. It’s just… you’re my hero, especially since I know you do it with kids, and the daily grind, and seriously, when IS Harper calling you? Because they really should. (I might be biased, because I like you, but I also loved your book, totally free of bias. It was refreshing, and unique, and pubs really need more of that, for real.)

    Series ARE scary, and as an author, I can’t even IMAGINE. I mean, you saw what happened with Allegiant 😉 BUT, I don’t think they have to be! There are a TON of series that I have read where the second book and last book were even more epic than the first.

    As for my dreams… I am stopping me. Every single day. With so many things in my life, I stop myself. My fear, my insecurities, my ridiculous obligation to please everyone but myself all lead to me not having accomplished a single thing I have wanted to in at least the past decade. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but then I look at someone like you who has done such amazing things, has achieved dreams, and it gives me inspiration. And maybe, eventually, all the inspirations will build up and I can take a step.

    But for now… you deserve ALL the congratulations! And if I had to bet, I would bet that you absolutely did not screw up a thing. I am pretty damn sure it is amazing. 🙂

    1. You are just about the sweetest thing! Thank you for giving my books a shot and being so much fun on the internet. Thank you for your support and encouragement! It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy that my little steps are an inspiration to you. I will say that following your dream (even in tiny baby steps) is TOTALLY worth it. Carve out a teeny space for yourself and you won’t regret it. I think that’s how it is for everyone… we are our own biggest stumbling blocks, and if we can get past that, we can get past any of the other roadblocks.

      Yes, I DID see what happened with Allegiant, and I’ve read a few other series that took the same nosedive (that obviously started as a standalone… but then just continued for no real reason). Having never done this before I had no idea if I could be successful. It’s crazy just finishing the freaking thing, never mind it being GOOD. I think I need to spend more time on your blog finding some more bang-up series! HAHAH!

      I’m still feeling happy. THANK YOU FOR THIS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *