Why I’m Afraid to Write A Book – Candice Kilpatrick-Braithwaite
As I grew up, my ego was dampened a bit, but I still wanted to share my story with the world. I collected experiences, and I was also one of those people that finds themselves in interring situations. I grew up in the southern U.S., which is a colorful place, and then lived in Asia for 10 years before moving to New York City. You would not even believe the things I have done and seen.
So why haven’t I written my fantastic memoir or my best-selling novel?
1.) Lack of Instant GratificationI am a blogger. I excelled at building a following on Twitter. How is Twitter different from writing a novel? Well, Twitter has a lot of things novel writing doesn’t. For example, instant gratification. As soon as I have a funny thought, I can send it out into the world and get LIKES and RETWEETS. If I write a funny page in a book, it will be weeks, or years, before it gets read. That sounds really lonely, doesn’t it?
2) Extrinsic Motivation?
I am extremely extrinsically motivated. When I had a Fitbit, I would go to great lengths to get the congratulatory vibration of 10,000 steps. If there is a sticker chart or a participation ribbon, I want it. I had perfect attendance at school because I saw an older student receive a flower bouquet for having never missed a day of school, and I wanted that kind of recognition. I want my name on plaques. I want medals and trophies. Writing a book does not involve many of these opportunities for rewards or recognition, at least not during the process.
3) I tried. It’s really hard
About 10 years ago I sat down to write a novel, based on people that I knew, but of course fictional (air quotes). I wrote a really cool chapter and walked away from the computer. In some kind of fluke that had never happened before or since my partner at the time deleted it. This is a person that saved literally everything, such as tax records since birth. I was very demoralized by this loss, even though I replicated some of it, and submitted it to a short story competition, and won. I still never started anew.
4) What if I fail?
I fear that, if I do complete a book, It won’t be a wild success and huge jackpot money maker that I want it to be. If I don’t write it, I can always smugly believe that it WOULD be a best-selling novel, optioned into a film, IF I ever took the time to write it. Because I am that awesome, in my mind.
5) I’m tired and I don’t have a writer’s cabin
I work a lot, in addition to a full-time job, I also always say yes to every freelance opportunity. And I have two kids. And I need to sleep and eat daily. I imagine that REAL writers are chilling at Walden Pond or something, and aren’t troubled by normal life stuff like laundry and cooking and hangnails and spotty internet speeds, which allows ample time for inspiring thoughts. Sure, I write stuff for money, but I’m not an author, because I don’t have a Fair Isle sweater and a bungalow. Or a hammock. Or a fancy glass to sip iced tea out of.
It is plain to see that I will never write a book. I think I probably have all of your agreement and sympathy now. How could you not see it too?
Candice Kilpatrick Brathwaite is the Lead Editor of Space Nation Orbit. She has worked as an educator, news editor, video editor, writer, social media marketer, and a green market coordinator. After moving from Alabama to Belize to China to Laos, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.