Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just Admit It

Okay, this is a hard thing for some of us, I think. I know it was for me. And it is for a few other people I know. So I thought it worthy to blog about.

I submit: The first step toward getting what you want is admitting that you want it. Really really really bad. So bad it aches. So bad you think your chest might cave in if you don't get it. You want it so much that the world could stop spinning and you'd still want it.

So have you done that? Do you feel that ache? That shortness of breath when you think, "My book will never be published."? Or that crushing weight when you hear, "You won't be a mother."? Or whatever it is that you desperately want.

Why is it so hard for us to admit to ourselves that we want something? Are we trying to avoid selfishness? Do we think we don't deserve it?

I know for me, it's probably a combination of both. I am happy (very much so) and content with my life. So admitting that I want something more feels like I'm ungrateful and selfish.

But dude, I so want to hold my book in my hands. I want it to be published.

I want it so bad, I ache inside. I can't breathe when I think it might not happen.

There. I admitted it. Whew. I feel better. And I can move forward with my other writing. Sometimes it's this fear of admitting that we want something that holds us back the most. And yeah, I've sort of been floundering for a while. But no more!

I want it, and I don't care who knows!

So what do you need to admit today? Anything to get off your chest so you can breathe properly again? What do you want so bad you ache? Why haven't you admitted it before?

ETA: I did a little interview about writing YA on Valerie's blog today. If you have a couple of extra minutes (ha ha!) go check it out.

105 comments:

Cheree said...

I really want to finish my novel, but the character is being a pain and not listening to me. I want to be able to breathe and say it's actually in a place that I like.

Candyland said...

I feel your pain. My chest hurts just thinking about it. To hold my book in my hands...yes...that would be nice.

Piedmont Writer said...

I'm with you 100%. I want to hold my book.

Jennifer Walkup said...

Oh yeah - I totally agree. I want to see my book and hold it in my hands. Want!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm with you. I want to feel the book in my hand and to see the awesome cover that has everyone gushing. :)

Kristi Faith said...

I admit that it makes me cry-literal tears-when I start thinking I'll never write well enough to be published. It's that evil inner poopyhead that always gets in my way.

I also really want a new computer. :0)

Laura Pauling said...

I do admit it all the time - to myself. :)

Kimberly Franklin said...

Right now, I just really want to finish my novel!!! I want it so bad!

jessieharrell said...

I'm with you on wanting to hold the book so bad I can feel it. I visualize the mystical blue eyes gazing out from a mostly back cover - even though I'll have no say in what the cover looks like.

Henya said...

I want it! I want it! I want it!

I want my first and finished novel to be published. I want to finish my second novel....Go me.

Fairway Fiction said...

I'll admit the same thing - I also want to see my work published. Like you, I'm also content in my life and I don't hold back saying that want because of thinking it may be selfish. For me, I don't shout my want from the rooftops because of a fear of failure. What if I tell the world what I want then fail to achieve it. That's my fear but I'll get over it.

PJ Hoover said...

Hey gal! I am totally upfront about what I want. hence why I record myself telling myself I already have it and then watch the video :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTHXlm-RvNs

I'm glad to be back blogging!

Portia said...

When I get a partial manuscript request, I get that funny dip feeling in my stomach. Then the doubts crowd in. I try not to think about it because I get too nervous. A rejection from a partial seems like it will feel worse than a rejection for a query letter!

Jennie Englund said...

I want to get over this wicked flu, so that I can use this spring break to revise.

It's just not happening.

But I KNOW you'll be published. You have voice, energy, hope. You're a fantastic writer.

This is just the longest game in the world.

Christi Goddard said...

I'll admit I feel the same exact way, but I have the WORST luck in the world. I want it, want it so bad I can taste it, and so often I think, "If someone would just give me a CHANCE I can show you I was meant for this and totally rock your socks!"

Then I feel arrogant and hate myself. The line between arrogance and confidence is a tricky bugger. I don't think I'm better than anyone else or that my voice is better, or my plots, charries, etc. But is that my self-esteem talking?

Lisa said...

Great post! I want my second novel to be published! I'm writing a series and I'm scared people won't like the second manuscript as much as the first.

Paul Greci said...

I want the book I am writing now to be better than the one that is on submission.

Christine Fonseca said...

Jinx! My quote on my blog says the SAME THING today!! Maybe cuz I just admitted how much I want to feel my book in my hands to you??? Hmmm...

Lola Sharp said...

I want world peace so badly it hurts. I hate all the in-fighting and vitriol within our own government. I feel pain in my chest when I think of how much hatred in the name of religion, politics and greed exists between and among countries. I want tolerance to live in all people, everywhere.

As for writing, I want good reviews. I want readers to feel that their time was well spent reading my book.

Thanks for finding and following my blog...what a delightful treat to follow it back here to your bloggy world! Great blog.

~Lola

Caroline Starr Rose said...

This reminds me of one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems:

Success is counted sweetest
by those who never succeed
to comprehend a nectar
requires sorest need...

It's the yearning (AND the failing) that makes us work.

Liza said...

Nope, not me. If I admit it, then it's gonna hurt too much if it doesn't happen. Here's my game: don't admit how you feel about something until it's close to coming true. If you don't tell people how you feel, they don't ask: "Are you pregnant yet?" or "How's that best seller coming along?" and you don't have to grit your teeth and reply, "No baby," or "No best seller." :) That said: there is something to be said for the old, if you build it they will come, or if you say it, it will happen philosophy...

Mary McDonald said...

I admit it. I want...no *need* my book to get published. If not this one, then the next one. In fact, right now the song from HSM 3 is going through my head. 'I want it, I want it...I want it all...

Amy Tate said...

Absolutely! You can't achieve the goal if you can't see it. I think we don't admit what we want because we feel that our denial will somehow cushion us if our dreams don't come to fruition. It's a false sense of security, protecting us from the possibility of failure. It reminds me of when I used to participate in gymnastics...decades ago. If I attempted to flip from the high bar to the low bar and I didn't go for it full force, I'd end up on my butt. In that move, there is no half way. I had to see it in my mind in order to complete the rotation. Failure was NOT an option. Failure meant that I'd fall on the mat and that HURT. In a sense, writing is just as mental.

Corey Schwartz said...

I want NINJA PIGS to be a big seller. That sounds so selfish. It's like saying, "I want a boy" when you are supposed to just want a healthy baby! But it's the truth. I want it to be a household name :)

Ian said...

I find it difficult to admit I'm a writer.
The reason for that is I know any conversation that goes, 'So, waddya do?'
'Well, I'm a writer.'

The next question will inevitably be, 'What have you got published, anything I might have read?'
AND that's when I'll have to look down bashfully, shuffle a toe and squeak, 'Nothing.'

So, I want the same as you Elana, to get that shiny book published and then I can then whip it out, wave it* and yell, 'This. In your face!'

One day, oh yes.


*it being the book of course.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ditto for holding my book in my hands. :0)

Christina Lee said...

You actually brought little tears to the corners of my eyes (see what happens when you want soemthign so deeply?).
I also think it's fear of failure on that goal. If you admit it and it doesn't happen...
But if act like it's no big deal then somehow it eases the hurt (to the outside world at least).

Christina Lee said...

I swear I can spell better in my real life too!

VR Barkowski said...

I *am* selfish. What I want more than anything in the world, what I work for, what I ache for, is to bring the joy of reading to others. I want to transport readers, give them an escape, take them on a journey, make them smile, or cry, feel joy or panic. If there were a way to do this by foregoing publication, that would be fine, too. But for better or worse, publication is the only way I know of to get a book into more than a few hands, so that is what I long for.

Dominique said...

It took me a long time to admit out loud I wanted to publish my writing. Heck, it took me a really long time to admit to anyone I knew that I actually wanted to be a writer. But it's true. I've said it. And you're right, it helps.

It's hard for me to admit things like that, because I sometimes have trouble admitting that things aren't what I initially planned or expected or thought. But it's important to accept that fact and embrace it.

Great post.

Kelly said...

I admit that I want it too! An agent! A book contract!
I like a challenge though. And it certainly is one.

Lisa K. said...

I think maybe -- at least for me -- it's because to admit it gives it power and puts you in a very vulnerable place, open for disappointment. But hey, no risk, no reward, right? I'm with you. I want it BAD.

Susan R. Mills said...

I want it too! When I used to tell people that I write, I always followed up with something about how I didn't care if I ever got published. I just enjoy the writing. Ha! Who was I kidding?????

Steena Holmes said...

why is it so hard to admit that I want to be published? I think as women (cause I ain't a man so I won't speak for them) we're bred to be selfless, to think of others, to put others first - and writing is such a selfish thing to do - but then add getting published into the mix - and man oh man - we might as well be labeled stuck up.

What do you think?

magolla said...

Any form of positive feedback would be great.
I've gotten so many R's over the years that I wonder if I'm heading in the right direction up the mountain or if I had taken a step through the swamps where I'll end up as alligator munchies.
True, holding my book would be great, but seeing my book on the shelf at the school's book fair would be doubly awesome!

CL Beck, author: MormonMishaps said...

Nice post. Thanks for sharing your feelings. I think we all have something we desperately want and are afraid to admit.

Met your sister, Suzette, at the Payson Library fundraiser we did last night. She's such a sweetheart!

Karen Lange said...

Good way to put it. I'm so thankful I've found such a great community of writers, which includes you! Don't get the big head, okay?

Yes, I want to hold my book in my hands too. I need to write it first, though. :) Work in progress, work in progress...

Happy day,
Karen

Brenda said...

I, too, want to be published. And quit my day job. I'd really be over the moon if a led to b, although that may not be realistic. But, wow, to make money writing...

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Yeah!!!!!! Me too! And admitting it is the best because it sends it out into the universe!

Georgiana said...

Wow. Totally raw and truthful post. Love it! Yes, I want the same thing you want. My stomach cramps when I think of all the time I will have devoted for seemingly nothing if it doesn't happen. BUT, surely God has not led me this far only to abandon me with nothing to show for the journey. Of course, the destination He has in mind might not be the one I'm hoping for. It would totally not be the first time I missed it! But yeah, I'll risk admitting it today.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Oh yeah, I feel the ache. I wake up thinking about my book and I go to sleep dreaming about it. When my husband asks what I'm thinking about, the inevitable answer is, "My book."

Yeah. I want it. Bad.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Does it disturb anyone that my heart-aching, chest-collapsing goal is to get to revision stage on one book. Just one. The first one.

Is that weird?

Amalia T. said...

I don't have any trouble admitting I want to be published in a terrible, terrible way. Or anything else that I want, really. I DO have trouble admitting when I am crushed by something, or feeling my dreams shattered. I will carry on as if nothing has happened and pretend that all is right with the world for some time, until someone asks me a direct question and I have to admit something happened. haha. Of course, it only gets worse when you don't talk it out :P

Casey McCormick said...

I want to see a finished, polished version of the book I've been trying to rewrite for the last year. Every week I feel like it's time to give up on it. I clearly can't pull it off, but I get that ache whenever I think about setting it aside. At this point, I don't even care if it doesn't end up getting published. I can always write another one, but I'm determined to give this book a chance.

And yes, eventually I do want to be published. Absolutely yes.

Olivia Carter said...

I SO hear you. I remember the exact moment I admitted to my husband that I wanted to get published so badly. That I hadn't wanted something that much in a LONG time.

And those exact feelings crushing chest, sweaty, stress. Whoa. But it's out there now.

A seriously insightful post. Thank You.

Kimberly said...

I'm scared to admit what I want because irrationally I feel like I'm setting myself up to fail. My whole life has been lived from an if-you-don't-try-you-can't-fail perspective. Seriously messed up. I have to fight that just to get the words down in the first place. Thought-provoking post!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I want to ditto Casey. About the giving up and everything. I want to give this book a chance. I want to finish this revision. I want to write another one. I want it to be beutiful and just right, and published.

Yvonne said...

I admit, I want an agent, an editor and a rewarding writing life. I want it so bad, the thought of it never happening is crushing. Why is it hard to admit this to people I know? Because if they don't know how much it means, they won't know what a failure I am if it never happens. Nothing changes your opinion of someone like success.

Melissa said...

I'm with you...I really want to be published to the point that it hurts. But I also want to be able to contribute to our family's income by writing. Until that day, my hubs will always look at this as my "hobby" and it's sooo much more than that. I also want to be able to tell people that I'm a writer without feeling embarrassed because I'm not published.

arlee bird said...

I want all of those book and author things plus a substantial income, but I guess I don't want them so bad that I ache. Heck I have enough weird aches and pains that keep popping up from getting older. So one thing I really want badly is really good health so I don't ache. But, hey, it could be a whole lot worse. Okay, give me my damn book in my hands already!
Lee

Talli Roland said...

I'm SO with you, Elana. I really want my book to be published. I've written six novels now (and I hope I'm getting better with each) and I'll keep writing and working until it happens!

Liz Czukas said...

I want one of the agents who have requests fulls or partials to be The One! I want someone to take a chance on something that isn't paranormal! I want to spy the cover of my book as I'm walking through Target!

Thank you.
-Liz

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I loved the interview - loved it!

Yes! Sometimes I ache until I think I'll implode. It hurts to want something so badly, knowing there's no guarantee it will ever happen. But it would hurt worse not to try. :-)

Lydia Kang said...

Are you tired of hearing people say "Me too?" Cuz that's all I have to say...sniff.

bookaholic said...

I second you!

Patti said...

I admit that sometimes I want to be a better writer, without actually having to work at it.

Lisa Nowak said...

I want the same thing you want, to have my books published. While I don't feel ashamed to admit it, I don't usually talk about it because 1. All the people I hang out with already know that and 2. Why keep repeating something everyone already knows? I don't want to bore people to death.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I want an agent and then to be published. Sometimes I don't want to admit it because I know it might not happen no matter how much as I wish for it. I don't want to be disappointed so try to squash the desire. But I know it's there.

B. Miller said...

I would like to admit that if there were any way I could quit my full time job which pays the bills and do nothing but write all the time, I would be the happiest bee in the hive. Or fish in the sea. Or beaver in the dam. Or whatever.

Which is what made me finally put down the timeline of finishing this novel and trying to get it published. There's no other way Superman is gonna be able to say goodbye to Clark Kent.

Great post... thanks for writing this! I feel better having said that to somebody. :)

Southern Princess said...

Oh Sweet Universe! I want my book in my hands...bound...complete...smelling of delicate new paper but with the strength to survive the times..

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Janet Johnson said...

I want the same as everyone else, so I'll branch out a little.

With my current WIP, I want to make people laugh so hard their sides hurt. Lofty goals I know. My husband tells me to only write after 11 PM and I'm sure to reach it. :)

M. Dunham said...

Wonderful post. One wonders how many people will read it and realize they don't want to be published that badly. I'd be curious to find out.

Feywriter said...

I've made no secret of the fact I want to be published.

What I need to get off my chest: I want to go on real vacation! Somewhere! I haven't admitted this because my husband doesn't like to travel, or sleep somewhere that isn't his bed. All too much hassle and unfamiliarity. But we didn't go on a honeymoon (was winter and hubby had throat infection), and we haven't been anywhere for us. It's always: we'll do something special for our tenth anniversary. That's still two years away. Do I have to wait that long?

As others have said, we don't admit these things because we don't want to get hurt when it doesn't happen.

Angie said...

Oh, yes. I want it so bad it hurts. That's probably one of the things that helps me succeed.

Krispy said...

Oh, I want MY book too. But I also do just want to finish something - one of the longer works. Baby steps right? :)

Nichole Giles said...

I want it! So, so so bad. But also, I want to do it right. Not half-way, but all the way. And it crushes me almost daily sometimes.

And yes, it makes me feel selfish because I have a terrific life, a happy life with a fantastic family. But this is something I want for me.

And also, I really want to live on a beach, because the ocean speaks to me. That sounds selfish too, but it brings me peace in a way I can't explain. But I want that too.

Tamika: said...

I want to see my BOOKS all over the shelves. I want to be a multi-published author. There I said it. It does feel a bit greedy for wanting so much when I've been given so much already.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

I think I hold back admitting things like that more because I feel like I'm setting myself up for disappointment. Like...if I let myself want it THAT bad, then I'll never be happy without it, and I just don't think that's any way to live. But I do want my book published. I don't need a gazillion dollar, multi-book deal or to be a NYT Bestseller or any of that. (Not sayin' I'd COMPLAIN if it happened...) But I would like to hold my book--a REAL, bound book with my name and an awesome cover--in my hands. I'll admit that! :)

Oh, and I'd love for my cats to be fluffy and yet NOT shed. After a morning spent de-cat furring the furniture, I might want that more than a book deal. ;)

Carolyn V. said...

Me too. It would be great to see my book on the shelves. =)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I always say that if it's a burning desire, make the decision!

Bane of Anubis said...

That's the worst thing about rejection -- we build up walls against rejection by convincing ourselves that it'll be okay if we never get what we want... but, no matter what, ultimately (unfortunately), we all suffer alone.

Kayeleen said...

Everyone else said it already. I want to see it through and go as far as I can with my writing. I don't want to be a failure.

T. Anne said...

You too the words right out of my mouth sister! I want this and bad. I'm still leary (sp) about telling people. I'm not sure why this is, but one day I'll print up flyers and scatter them at random where ever I go. ;)

Emily J. Griffin said...

I want to get into every school I applied to. I want to find validation. I want not to be scared of success. I want to give good and get good from othes.

L.T. Elliot said...

Today, I don't know what I want. But I want to know what I want.

Kimberly Job said...

I want to know I'm loveable, and to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

DaniSue said...

I'm with you, I want to hold my book and see my name on the front. And, I'm going to get sappy, but I really want to see the dedication page where I can thank my mom for all of her help and encouragement.

Kris said...

DaniSue read my mind. I sometimes write my dedication in my head. No on else does that, right? I agree with everyone - I want to feel my book, my baby, in my hands.

Krista said...

Not just one book. ALL my books. And a new house.
Geez. Hello, selfish.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

There's incredible power in giving voice to what you want. Great reminder for me today.

Munk said...

Want it.

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

I want to be a published YA author in the next 5 years.

Carol Kilgore said...

I didn't read any blogs yesterday because I flat ran out of time. Today I'm catching up. Yesterday's post - I have reached the same conclusions as you. Today's - I'm a fan of stating out loud more than once a day what my next writing goal is in a positive statement form. Are you sure we're not related?

Jackee said...

I feel the same way. Or to walk into a bookstore and see it there on the shelves.

There are likely many reasons we as people do this to things we want, but one of the reasons that comes to mind has to do with control. We can't control if our book is published or not, no matter how hard we work, so we hide our secret desires. Fear of things they can't control I think is one of humanity's biggest fears. Even more than failure, perhaps.

ali said...

I think, for me, the reason I might not say it out loud is because I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid if I say it, and you hear it, and I fail to do it, you'll judge me. You'll think I'm no good. And worse, I'll think *I'M* no good. Because, if I admit that I want it that bad and I fail, what does that say about myself? That I can't make my dreams come true? That I'm not worthy? That I'm a failure.

So yeah.

But here it goes. I want to be published so badly that every rejection (no matter my blase response) feels like a stab in the heart. Every night I go to bed without some postiive forward motion toward this goal feels like a less stellar day, a day that was somehow less than it could have been.
*hearts;

Abby said...

Like the previous post, I'm afraid that if I admit I want it and I fail to get it, I'll suffer all the more. Guess it's easier just to be indifferent.

But, man, do I want it. It gives me little ashtma attacks when I think about it.

Caledonia Lass said...

That's just it... I DO want to be published so bad it hurts. But at what risk? It is a huge risk to take, people will be judging your work and all the criticism, but that isn't the risk I speak of.
Mine is personal risk. Meaning, do I get published at the risk of seeming selfish? What if I become "famous"? Will it change me as a person? Will I become greedy, prideful? I like who I am, I do not want to lose that, but I want. to. be. published!
It is a very difficult internal battle going on. :(

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I admit that I want my book to become a bestseller ... is that too much to ask? I mean, really, come on!

Elana Johnson said...

The AA: That's totally not too much to ask! ;)

Caledonia, dude, you've got the battle! I figure my life can't change that much because I still have to get up and go to work and my kids still need me home. I think there's a place for both. And you'll handle it beautifully!

Abby et. al., so true. It hurts. It hurts bad. But I think it makes you stronger.

Ali, you are awesome! And you are not a failure -- and you WILL make your dreams come true. I refuse to believe otherwise about you or anyone else. *insert stern eyes* You know we're talking about this at crit group tomorrow.

insidethewritersstudio said...

I want a Pulitzer for fiction.

:)

Hey, everybody's gotta have a goal. And you didn't say it had to be realistic.

Hayley said...

In the long haul I want to finish my novel, and I want to hold a printed copy in my hands. But in this exact moment in time, I want to ask a certain guy to prom and have him say yes.

Jill Kemerer said...

I want it. I can't even explain how badly I want it. I cry at rejections. But I know I'll sob uncontrollably when I do get the call.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great guest post over at Valerie's!

I try so hard not to look too far ahead. It's becomes so overwhelming. But, I want it pretty badly myself! :)

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Wow, great post, Elana. Bonk - your posts always hit me on the head and knock sense into me. You are so on the money when you say that it is the fear of admitting we want something that holds us back.

Okay, I'll admit it. I fear to say I want it for fear of failure. I've always hated thinking out loud and saying what I truly want. Don't know why that is. Maybe because it's a commitment, maybe it's lack of confidence. But it is holding me back - so I'll admit it. I do want to be published, see my name on the front of the book cover. Be giddy with the knowledge that I wrote that. Thanks for the kick in the rear - I need that.

Palindrome said...

You spoke exactly what's in my heart and soul.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I want to see my stories come to life. I want to witness the emotional reaction when others see and hear it. Particularly this drama. I want to see it become real and connect with other people.

Little Ms J said...

Thanks for the pep talk, coach. I WANT it, but I just forget sometimes when life gets in the way. Now, scoot over world. I've got me a book to finish!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I've never had a problem admitting that I want to be published. And yes, it aches. Especially from all the floundering.

But I'll admit that I didn't realize how much work it would take. I thought I'd be one of those overnight sensations. What I didn't realize is that for many of them, their overnights started years before. Sobering thought.

Lisa and Laura said...

Um, my big confession is that now that we know our book is going to be published, I want it to be successful. Like REALLY, crazy, best seller successful. Do we ever stop wanting??? Something tells me we don't...

Sharon Mayhew said...

Here's my wish...I haven't said it out loud...I REALLY WANT TO PUBLISH A BOOK! I have friends that are so much more talented than me and I WANT THEM TO GET BOOK DEALS first...They are so good, but I really want it too. I didn't realize it until this week...I want it so much, I haven't been taking afternoon naps...and anyone who knows me well knows I need those naps...I've been editing and revising.

Thanks for letting me say it out loud, Elana!

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for saying it out loud:) I want it too and sometimes get afraid I'll never be good enough!

Glynis said...

I know for me, it's probably a combination of both. I am happy (very much so) and content with my life. So admitting that I want something more feels like I'm ungrateful and selfish.

But dude, I so want to hold my book in my hands. I want it to be published.

I want it so bad, I ache inside. I can't breathe when I think it might not happen.
~~~~~~~~~~
You took the words right out of my mouth, Elana!
The ache has intensified and it is driving me forward now.
I hope your dreams come true.

Em-Musing said...

Wow! After 103 splashes, I realize how un-unique my thoughts are. I'm just another wannabe published writer. And THAT'S why I blog. There, I'm mistress of the my own little blogosphere :) Each comment confirms that "someone" likes what I write.

Faith Pray said...

Okay. I'm with you. Really, really, really want my novel published.

SB said...

ha. I admitted it to you already: I want to write. I just wish I had a story...but my creativity is fleeting and very very adhd. One day. For now. I blog.
SB

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