Why Do I Always Expect the Worst?

2012-05-17_003Old habits die-hard. This is something that I have always done since my High School days, hope for the best but expect the worst. I have carried that mantra with me for decades because for the most part it has helped me deal with heart aches and breaks. While I try to view the world less cynically as I get older, I fall back to this.

Last month I mentioned that I have a publicist that is helping me get test readers. Well, that process is done and we are waiting for the feedback. Questions have been developed so that I can get a general feel about how the book was received. I had already gotten one bad review about the story’s content so I try not to take things too personal. Besides, this person liked the way I write but not the content so it wasn’t a total loss. That is also when I realized that the book is not for everyone considering that I have gotten mostly positive reviews.

So when I got my first email the other day with answered questions from a test reader, I was already thinking the worst. I can already imagine someone saying how much this novel sucks. I can imagine in getting one out of five stars on my Goodreads page. With much fear I open it and realize that it is another positive review. Then I feel silly for not having the confidence in my ability.

So why do I do this to myself? One would think that since I’m older and more mature I should be ready to handle things like this. Yet, for some reason I cringe when I think about someone rating my book. That is why I’m spending the extra time to comb through the book several times searching for errors and inconsistencies.

Where is this fear coming from? I know that it’s not real but in my mind I’m still that little kid that thinks something is living in my closet ready to pounce as soon as my parents turn off the hallway light. I know it’s not real. My mind is making all of this up. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real (yes, I looked that up).

Truth be told I think that the fear comes from the possibility being judged by the intellectuals that I know that could rip the book apart. The fear comes the family reading and thinking that I’m a bit of a nut or freak. So when it comes down to it, I am ready to be a pariah of sorts which is completely stupid and irrational. But I will be prepared for the worst while I hope for the best because past experience has taught me how to survive.

I know that my fear is very much like my book, it is fiction. However, like the fiction I write, there is some truth somewhere in the background.

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