What if: 10 Fears of a soon-to-be-published writer

1. What if no one comes to the launch of What is Left Over, After …  apart from my husband and my mum?

2. What if people I know think the characters in my book are based on them?  Does that mean they’re vain or that I’m about to lose all my friends?

3. What if the reviews are resoundingly bad?  My first review has just come out and it’s not too bad – apart from the reviewer likening my book to The Bride Stripped Bare.  If you read my post Books I love, books I hate, you’ll know why I’m not happy about the comparison.

4. What if my book gets nominated for one of those awful ‘Worst Sex Scene’ type competitions?  Or perhaps I should just be happy if it gets that much attention.

5. What if I’m that writer at a Writers’ Festival who sits, lonely and waiting at a table for someone to produce my book for signing whilst the authors on either side of me are struggling with writers’ cramp in a bid to keep up with queues of adoring fans wanting their autographs?

6. What if I go into a bookshop and can’t find my book?  I could be optimistic and imagine that they’ve sold out – I wish! – but I expect that pessimism will take over and I’ll convince myself that they didn’t like it enough to stock it in the first place.

7. What if I’m about to do an Author Talk or speak at a Writers’ Festival and, just as I step on to the stage, I realise I haven’t got a copy of my book to read from?  The other day I went to work with my shirt on inside out so who knows what I might do while I’m still in the stupor of twice a night baby feeding.

8. What if – and I’ve heard other writers warn about this – I speak at an event about a scene in the book only to remember later that the scene was cut in the editing phase and nobody at the event had a clue what I was talking about?

9. What if people are just ambivalent about my book?  Of course I want everyone to love it but I’d prefer someone to hate it – then at least I know I’ve aroused some passion in them – than to feel nothing.

10. What if I forget about points 1-9 and think instead about how good it will feel the first time I walk into a bookshop and see my book on a shelf waiting for someone to take it home.  Yes, that’s better …


  1. Natasha,

    I haven’t read your book, but I can be pretty sure it’s good. You write with charm and self depreciation, and I bet you worried over every word. The folks who think they are perfect often make for a dull read.

    My book, “The Mandolin Case” came out this summer. Trust me, I had the same fears. It ain’t Hemingway, but it has done fine. (Made it to #1 in the Amazon Country Book category for a while)

    I’m near an old man, but my biggest fear was my mama would get on me about the cuss words. (I would rate mine PG13)

    Dr. B

  2. Thanks for your lovely feedback – it’s great to hear from other writers who’ve already been through both the fun and the fear that I’m soon to experience.

    Congratulations on your book too, it sounds as though it’s doing really well.

    And my biggest fear is somehwat similar to yours – my mother reading the sex scenes in my book. I can’t even bear to think about it!

  3. Lia Miller

    Tash you are hilarious. I think you just came up with the name of yet another of your next books, or a new TV series and a fantastically, neurotic, overthinking nearly 40 something. Clearly it’s going to be great!

  4. Tee hee! I like that idea – now to find a spare few hours to fit in writing a TV sit-com …

  5. Trin

    My ten responses to your ten fears.

    1. I will be there.
    2. Well I was going to say of course I am one of your characters but then you said will you lose friends so it can’t be me…
    3.Bride stripped bare sold millions no problem
    4.Sandra Bullock; won best actress and worse in the same year so maybe it part of being successful.
    5.Doubtful but can you get me their autograph whilst you are there!
    6.Definately sold out, they are waiting on the next shipment.
    7.First one up with their book for me to read gets a special message written by the author.
    8.Finish off with ..And that why I didn’t include it in the end…
    9. mmmm
    10. Even better seeing someone unknown pick it up and walk to the counter to buy it with that look of anticipation of whats to come.

  6. Pingback: April 26th, Day 26 of the #AtoZChallenge- W is for What if? « A.D.Duling Wordpress Blog

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