Feel the fear…

I’ve got to be honest, I hate the title of my blog. It’s one short of ‘you don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps’ I mean really. Feel the fear and write it anyway!?  I am one MASSIVE cliche. However, I have resisted changing it because as cliched as it is, it is also quite often very true. For me at least. Lots of things terrify me; sharks, illness, my children needing me when I’m not there to help, or worst of all, my Yorkshire Pudding’s not rising. Can you imagine that!?

Despite the fear,  I do try to do things… apart from sharks, I just wouldn’t entertain that. And illness, I can’t avoid illness. And as if I’d not cook a Yorkshire on the off chance it went wrong, no. No yorkshire, no roast. Fact. Actually, looking at this list it is a pretty poor set of examples to make my point – stick with me though, there is a point. 

This week, I have found myself avoiding something that I need to do, but am gut-wrenchingly terrified of it. I mentioned in my last that I had been shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Writer Award. There is a ‘do’, in Bedford, people will be there. People I should be networking with. People who might have an opinion on my book. People who might one day be able to support, influence or encourage my writing. People who might make a difference. To make the most of the nomination, I should be there to talk to those people. But I am terrified. If I talk to them, I have to talk about the book. I don’t know that I am ready, I don’t know if the book is ready. Actually, I do know that bit. It isn’t. I’m barely through draft 2. It is a long way off being ready and I am terrified that I will talk too soon to someone who wants to see something and then I’ll feel I have to send it so that I don’t miss out on the opportunity and then it won’t be good enough, and then my chance has gone. Back to square one. I might lose faith in something that I currently have great faith in. I might lose confidence… cos as you can see from this post, I’m brimming with that. I am full of fear and I am desperate to run in the opposite direction.

I RSVP’d to say I couldn’t go.

She emailed back saying that was a shame because it was a great opportunity to network.

I justified it by mentioning the kids – which is a true point, as is the fact that to go, from where we live, is going to be expensive.

She reminded me that the event meant that us ‘nominees’ could be pushed in front of editors.

I felt that my reason for not going was growing thin. And stupid. I tried to justify it to him in doors. He said I should go. As did my mum. Plus a couple of friends. And the kids.

So, (*point about to be made klaxon*) I have emailed the organisers again to ask if I can change my mind. I will probably look like a total numpty for declining then changing my mind. But I think, just as the time I fessed up to people that I wanted to write, this time – I have to feel the fear and… don’t worry. I wont finish that sentence. I’m not mad.


15 thoughts on “Feel the fear…

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  1. Hi Anna,

    No need to be afraid! I’ve also been shortlisted but can’t go to the evening event as I’ll have my four month old twins with me. I’ll be there earlier in the day and some of my fellow Romaniac pals will also be there. My friend, Lucie will be at the reception so I’ll point her here so you have at least one friendly face. Not having a polished item isn’t a problem – being shortlisted is a big thing & you should enjoy 🙂 Perhaps see you in the day, if not some other time. Good luck xx

    1. Hi Catherine, thank you for getting in touch. That’s really kind! Four month old twins – now that is legitimate! I live in Cornwall so it is financially difficult getting to these things as I don’t work but I have to speculate to ultimately accumulate I guess! 🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for lucie defo. Not sure that I’ll get to Bedford before mid afternoon and will need to settle kids before coming to the event. Thanks again, and good luck to you too! Xxx

  2. You HAVE to go. Do not fear! I’ll be there too. (I’m Romaniac friends with Lucie, Catherine and lots of the gals) Be assured your writer friends, my Romaniac buddies and me will keep an eye out for you. You’ll soon learn you’re never alone when you’re in the RNA. I say it time and again but they are the most genuine, loveliest bunch you will ever know … Look forward to meeting you. Now stop those crows pecking on your shoulders and BELIEVE! 😉 Debbie x

    1. I’ll be the one in with the look of rabbit caught in headlights! 😉 Thank you, that is very kind and I appreciate it. I had not considered all you lovely people might end up reading the blog when I posted it. Normally its only my mum! Look forward to meeting you at the do! Crows have been shooed away and I am taking back the control! Thank you! xx

  3. Hi Anna. I’m with Catherine (fellow Romaniac) – not literally, although sometimes we do pop up together – anyway, I digress. I too will be at Bedford, and as I don’t have twins, I’ll be at the evening do. I promise you’ll love it. Writers are a very generous, welcoming and friendly set of people.
    I’m in Dorset 🙂
    I look forward to meeting you. Do you use Twitter? I can be found @Laura_E_James, although I’m mostly on Facebook, but if you go to http://www.theromaniacs.co.uk, you’ll find us. We’ll probably be eating cake.
    Laura 🙂

    1. Goodness, you are all so lovely and generous. I really do appreciate it! Do I use twitter – it’s only my emotional crux. In fact, my husband says that if he ever wants to know how I am feeling, or what I am up to – he just needs to read twitter… perhaps this is a bad thing!? I’ll see you at the do! 🙂 xx

  4. So understand your fear – I was so wobbly about going to the RNA conference this year – think not sleeping and hyperventilating. But as soon as I arrived I realised that a)most people are there on their own b)a lot of people re similarly scared c)everyone has been there, and are supportive and amazingly lovely and d)there’s always something to talk to people about because we all have romance in common. And you WILL meet WONDERFUL people. Some of them will be fab for your career, some of them will be invaluable in helping you along the way, and others will just be the hugest fun and the best friends. I’ll look out for you! Go for it, and have a ball! And congrats on your nomination! 🙂

    1. Good advice, thank you. It is really easy to let something take over your sense of perspective isnt it! I think that I am so keen that my husbands support in my writing led mid-life crisis (early onset), is repaid that I am forgetting the bigger picture. I will have a ball and thanks for the message and congrats. x

  5. Hi Anna,

    Firstly, huge congratulations on being shortlisted. I’m one of Catherine’s Romaniac buddies and it will be my first time at the festival, although I will only be there on the Saturday during the day, not in the evening for the awards do. Hopefully though, we’ll still get to say Hi to each other before I need to leave. I totally understand and empathize with the fear factor, I know that feeling well, but can only say from having attended several RNA parties plus other events, how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Best of luck with the award nomination. As for not having the polished version of your novel as yet, I can only echo Catherine’s words above. Enjoy! The rest will all fall into place 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you for the congrats and getting in touch. How lovely you all are! Isn’t it funny, grown women fuelled by a fear of the unknown… I’m really quite a confident person normally and yet this is all so new to me that it has quite pushed my comfort. I’m not sure if I’ll make it up there before the reception to be honest, I have to drive up from South Cornwall with the kids so I imagine it’ll be mid to late afternoon before I have got up there and them settled with him in doors. I’ll be keeping an eye out for all of you that have got in touch though, so thank you. If I don’t see you – have a great weekend! xx

  6. Hi Anna,

    I’m shortlisted too (as Jayne Hall). I’m terrified too. Not least because nothing fits and I can’t lose a stone in two weeks! Lol.

    Like you I am not ready for a publisher. I’m panicking trying to get my draft into shape in case anyone is interested in the story. I went into hyperventilation when offered one to ones as I really think I need more time, but should I take a risk and go for it?

    Look about for me and Bella Osborne, we are both shortlisted and are friendly and scared too!


    1. Two weeks or not, Embrace the stone! I know that much!! 😉 I have had so many messages from people being supportive and lovely that I suspect we will end the evening wondering what on earth we were worried about!! The good thing about the blog post is that I think I am now as excited as I am nervous, which is probably the best place to be. Looking forward to meeting you. And thanks for commenting! X

  7. Hi Anna,

    I feel like we know eachother having been introduced to you already 🙂 But let me do my part..

    I’m Lucie and I am one of the Romaniac girls, also. I went to the Festival of Romance two years ago and had the BEST time! Unfortunately, due to it being so close to my daughters birthday, last year I was unable to go. But I have been very lucky and this year I shall go to the ball again! I remember my first time at the FoR and I was SO scared. But believe me when I say, writers are probably one of the friendliest bunch of people I have ever met. Seriously, they will welcome you with open arms and help you in any way they can. Because we all genuinely want others to do well. Massive congratulations on your shortlisting – what a fantastic achievement. I, too, have been shortlisted, so I shall be at the pre-awards drinks and also the ball in the evening. So please do come and say ‘Hi.’ I am rubbish with putting names to faces but I will look out for you and we can have a much needed hug. You will be absolutely fine, Anna, honestly.

    Please don’t worry and start getting excited – it’s going to be a fab evening! See you there, lovely!

    Lucie xx

    1. Thanks lucie! 🙂 I’m already seeing how friendly everyone is. Quite oberwhelming but very lovely! :)) looking forward to meeting you, looks like (from reading your blog) the nomination came just at the right time for you too. A gentle nudge that we’re on the right track, however long the journey takes!
      Will prepare stance to receive hug. See u then! X
      Ps I am rubbish with faces and names too… Fingers crossed we work out which one of us is which!;)

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