Charlotte Bennardo shares her biggest fear as part of my ongoing guest post series:
a writer is not for the weak of heart or constitution: large crowds,
nasty reviews, another rejection, and pages of revisions are only some
of the problems you’ll face. If you’re a published author, you know
this, and maybe these fears have been replaced by newer ones like not
getting another contract, disappearing from sight after your launch, and
missing sales projections.
Everyone has fears. To be a
successful writer, you’ve got to face them. My fear—driving by myself.
It sounds irrational with GPS and Mapquest, but I’ve gotten lost so many
times that I panic. What’s the worst; I’d have to turn around? Except
I’m on a divided highway and the next turnoff takes me to Santiago,
Chile. And GPS loses its signal in tunnels, under concrete bridges, and
in cities with towering buildings. I’ve gone the wrong way down one-way
streets, ended up at a dead end in a really bad neighborhood, and
cruised miles out of my way on the highway to not-even-God-knew-where
(in the dark, no road lights or signs of civilization—we’re talking
Texas Chainsaw territory).
If someone’s there, for some reason it
keeps me calmer; maybe because I have someone depending on me. But
there’s not always going to be someone with me. My co-author couldn’t
make a lot of signings, other authors at group signings came from
different places so carpooling wasn’t practical. Plus I’m working on my
solo books, which means going solo.
The cure? Force myself to go
to booksignings alone. Take the train into the city (because nothing is
worse than roaming a big city, not knowing where you’re going), leave
extra time so when I get lost (and I will), I’m still on time. Practice
makes for fewer panic attacks, less crying (oh yes, I’ve done that), and
well, the cursing is down a bit too. I’ve learned to look ahead to the
next turnoff, merge, etc. so I don’t have to suddenly zip over three
lanes of rush hour traffic to get to my exit. It’s all about doing the
prep work and digging down deep. So face your fear! Now if I could only
learn how to parallel park…
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Charlotte Bennardo is the co-author of Sirenz, Sirenz Back In Fashion (Flux), and Blonde Ops (Thomas Dunne, 2014), and is working on several YA solo books.