I'm seriously terrified of people reading my work. Seriously. Terrified. It usually takes me a few weeks to gather the courage to show anything to Justin, and he's my husband! I mean, come on. He has seen me throw-up! He has heard me fart! (No, that's not true. I've never farted. Ever.) And yet, I still get the jitters when he reads my work.
Granted, I should give myself a little credit. I've managed to conquer my anxieties somewhat. I have a great critique group, for instance, and I've lined up some fantastic beta readers for this manuscript.
It still scares me silly. I often have to re-read my excerpts 3 or 4 times before I dare press the "Send" button. And that's just with the excerpts. I have yet to have anyone outside of my immediate family (and Agent Jim) read an entire book of mine.
Which makes no sense to me. I'm too scared to share my manuscript with my writing friends — people who are so nice and helpful! — and yet I was perfectly fine querying my first novel without anyone reading it?
Friends = Too scary
Agents = Press send now!
I don't understand my logic. Maybe I need to send my brain to the Brain Repair Factory? If so, I'd like to exchange it with Laini Taylor's please. ('Cause who wouldn't want to write like Laini?)
Whatever. I'm tired of you, Anxious Caroline.
Here's a freaking snippet from my WIP:
(In which my protagonist, Zara, walks to school in Nazi-occupied America)
She walked past a slew of shops — the grocer, the butcher, the chocolatier selling truffles only the Nazis could afford — but her pace dropped as she approached the bakery. The scent of hot buttery bread proved too tempting, beckoning her with the promise of a plump-full stomach.
Peering inside, Zara’s tongue watered at the sight of the golden loaves and at a tray of sticky buns still steaming on the counter. Sticky buns. She adored their cinnamon-y layers, and these had just been plucked out of the oven. Her fingers searched through her bag, hoping to rustle a few spare coins, but then the baker caught her staring and shooed her through the window.
"Geh! Geh!" he yelled, waving her off with his floured hands. "Nur zalende kunden!"
Paying customers only.
Zara’s appetite dried like a prune.
Hey now! That wasn't so bad, right?