Mar 3, 2011

Stage Fright

I’ve suddenly found myself having dreams of my first contract laughing at me manically surrounded by rising flames and terrifying shadows. 

‘You think I’m scary? You haven’t seen scary!” 

Out of nowhere my second contract bursts forward and it’s bigger, and scarier. For some reason my contracts always has a Spanish accent… but I think that’s beside the point. 

I have been suffering through a case of writer’s stage fright. Stage fright is different to writer’s block in that the writer knows what they want to write, everything is planned out in their head but they can’t get those words down on paper. Why? Because someone might actually read them.

It’s that scary place between releasing book one and book two. The reviews are coming in and they are kind, readers comment that they enjoyed the writing or story, or hopefully both.
The author knows the reader is interested, but can the author keep them interested? That is the big question. 

In my much younger days I was a performer. I danced and sang on stage many times and never once got nervous before going on. One night before a charity performance I was backstage with a singer who is well known in Ireland. He told me I would never be an entertainer because I didn’t love it enough. At the time I didn’t let it show how much his words affected me. He wasn’t being cruel, just honest. That was my last dance performance.

Looking back now, he was right that I was never meant to be a dancer, mostly because I wasn’t very good. But, I still hold the hope that he was wrong about me being an entertainer. All these years later I hope my nerves show how much I really want to do what I’m doing now, that I want to entertain people through my books. 

I think book two will show if I’ve got what it takes. 

I’ve dipped my toe in the water and started what, I hope, will be a lifelong writing career. I’ve decided my stage fright is caused by my passion for writing, a passion that was never there for dancing and I have come to realize that all I can do is write the best book I can and hope people enjoy it.


  1. Hey Carol,
    Are you writing the sequel to Shades? It is tough to remain in your own little writing world once your work is public. I'm lucky that I wrote book two in my series before I got the first one published, and I can relate to stage fright in writing book three. Deep breaths and keep trucking! :)

  2. Hey Jen,

    I talking about my second release later this year. It's a new story. Although I am piecing Shades 2 together in among other projects. On advice I changed the character POV for the second Shades book to Ben. It involves a total re-write of everything I have and lots of new scenes so it's slow going. The working title is Shades of Avalon. :-)

  3. "I’ve dipped my toe in the water and started what, I hope, will be a lifelong writing career. I’ve decided my stage fright is caused by my passion for writing."

    I agree. There's a vulnerability that comes with doing something you are really passionate about. No matter how much you craft a work for readers to enjoy, and even if that work isn't autobiographical in the least, it carries part of who you are and not just what you do. So I think that for the passionate writer, what you're putting on stage is your spirit and not just your work. Passion will keep you authentic, and that's a good mode to live in while popularity and acceptance come and go. :D

    Good post, and best of luck with your second release!

  4. OMG! That's it! I have stage fright!

    I'm rather annoyed at what the guy told you when you were dancing, but I guess years later it helps you realize what you ARE passionate about!

    You'll get over your stage fright, I'm sure.

  5. I love your post. Sometimes it's hard to find the thing that we are passionate about and fits us best. I loved Shades and I look forward to reading more of your work. Just know that your fans are behind you and cheering you on. Good luck with your project and stage fright, and PLEASE keep writing. :0)