Why is it so Hard?

Scooby Scared

As those of you who follow this blog will know, I started writing my book nearly six years ago. Admittedly it grew and is now a trilogy, but I’ve had my first draft written for almost a year and still no one has read the work in its entirety. I’ve re-read it several times, self-edited it and generally played about with it. I have about nine people lined up to beta read it and developed a questionnaire about the book for them to fill in (to avoid comments like: “Yes it’s good”) – so why is it so hard to send it out?

For my ‘day job’ I work as a Medical Writer and when I get a project, I write the document or slides, send them out on review, amend in line with the comments and don’t think anything of it. Why is sending out your beloved piece of fiction so much more difficult?

My guess is that it’s because your novel is so personal. With medical writing it’s a very fact based task and you just need to know what you are talking about. With a novel, however, it’s your baby, your ideas, your creation and a large part of you goes into it. For me that’s what makes it so different.

So far several people have read Book 1, but that was before I edited it and I’ve changed it significantly since (more because of my comments than theirs). Now I want to be able to send all three books out one after the other but this has provided me with many excellent excuses for procrastination. I can’t send Book 1 out yet, Book 2 won’t be ready…and then there’s Book 3, I’ve not edited that yet…etc, etc.

I now fear that I’m getting into the mode of over-editing but even knowing that, I want to start tinkering again (the Chapter breaks aren’t right, there’s still too much telling rather than showing, the sentence structures aren’t right…) but the time has come. Despite these known inadequacies, I need to send out Book 1 to get some independent feedback. I keep reminding myself it will be professionally edited before the end and so Book 1 will be sent out this weekend. Book 2 will be ready to go in about a weeks time and by the time people have read that, Book 3 will be ready.

I want my family to have the opportunity to read the whole story by Christmas / early in the new year (it’s a story based on our family history) and the fact that I’ve written my goals down here hopefully means I can’t back out of it any longer!

I suspect I’m not the only one overcome with nerves about sending out their work. Do any of you have any strategies for overcoming it? Please feel free to share in the comments if you do.

If you want to know more about the Ambition & Destiny Trilogy, visit my website here.

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About Val McBeath

Born and raised in Liverpool (UK), I live in Cheshire with husband, youngest daughter, and cat. In addition to family history, interests include rock music and Liverpool Football Club. Prior to writing, I trained as a scientist and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years. In 2012, I set up my own consultancy business and now split my time between business and writing.
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