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Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words

Welcome to my creative space, where I believe words have power, we can change the world by sharing stories, imagination is valuable, and that my voice will not be silenced. I hope you will join me here, by reading my blog and books, joining me in workshops, contributing guest posts, and maybe even making a comment or two or more. Everyone is welcome! I look forward to hearing your stories.


What (exactly) am I Afraid of?

By Lisa KramerAugust 29, 201323

With tentative fingers I type in the words to search for agents who might be looking for new clients, who might find my work matches their needs.  I have avoided this task, using every excuse in the book about why I can’t do it.

My internet connection isn’t good.

I don’t have the money to spend to buy the listing.

I don’t know where my book fits in, it doesn’t fall easily into one category.

I’m waiting for a response from my readers.

I need to go over it one more time.

Yada, yada, yada.

But they are all just excuses, and I know that.

Because here’s the truth. My manuscript is ready and has been for months. The only thing that has held me back is the thing that always holds me back.



But what, exactly, am I afraid of?

Rejection stinks.It is soul-sucking. It makes you want to crawl under the covers and suck your thumb. But, with the amount of times I have been rejected/disappointed from things that I thought would be a breeze, I know that I can and will always survive rejection.

The worst thing they can do is say no, or not reply at all.

That’s not true. The worst thing they could do would be to tell me that my writing is awful, that there is no hope for me, that I should just burn it and crawl under a rock.

Rocks to Hide Under

But that’s not going to happen. I may not be a match for certain agents/editors/publishers, but I’ve already proven to myself (and others) that my words are not terrible. The few people who have read the manuscript have enjoyed it, as did those who read my first manuscript which also lies in my files gathering dust. (For a description of the book click here) Those of you who have joined me here haven’t run away (yet) because of my lack of ability with words. I even, occasionally, write things people enjoy reading.

So again I ask, what am I afraid of?

I know that, no matter what happens, I have something to be proud of. I’ve written a book (well actually two). I’ve finished and entire manuscript. I wrote characters, story, plot, atmosphere, and everything else. That has always been a dream, and I’ve achieved it.

Of course I want to publish. Of course I would love to make a little money from it. Of course I dream that my little (ahem . . . . 92,145 word) manuscript find a life of its own separate from my desk and my computer. But, even if it never happens, I achieved one goal.

The rest is just icing.

So what am I afraid of?

If I could answer that, I’d get so much more work done.

What are you afraid of? Do you know what I’m afraid of?

23 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “What (exactly) am I Afraid of?”

  1. Stuart Nager says:

    Lisa…take the advice I’m sure you give your students:

    If you don’t try, you won’t get anything.

    You only fail if you don’t try.

    Send it out. Trust yourself.

  2. Lisa Kramer says:

    Thanks Stuart. I am working on it. Writing this post helped.

  3. Linda W says:

    Rejection. I’ve experienced it. I can understand the fear of it. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ve received great feedback that helped me revise.

    • Lisa Kramer says:

      Rejection really isn’t anything to fear. It just stinks. That’s why I’m kicking myself now, because I ultimately fail more if I don’t try.

  4. Beth says:

    You’ve answered that question already. Essentially you are confirming that there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear is a terrible emotion, a debilitating emotion. The ultimate question is, how do I conquer FEAR??? Does determination conquer fear? Does persistence conquer fear??? Does faith in oneself conquer fear??? I guess if you answer those questions, you can then move forward and hit the send button. Ultimately, what do you really have to lose by hitting the send button because I can only see that the greatest loss would be the loss of the opportunity that the one person who should read your work and will truly bring it to its potential will never see it. That scares me.

    • Lisa Kramer says:

      Beth, you are brilliant and your words are so powerful. Thank you for being one of my biggest support systems (even though we never get to see each other)

  5. Kathy says:

    There is no reason not send our query letters. Just be prepared that your argent will likely still ask for the parts of a book proposal that outline your marketing strategy, platform, etc–even for a fiction manuscript. This is the task that has slowed me down, as memoir msss are treated the same these days. If you have that contingency covered, send our queries. But even if not, there’s no reason to not search for viable agents. Go for it!!!! You have nothing to lose.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  6. Nathan says:

    I believe in you. You can and you do great things.

  7. The other thing you can do, Lisa, is self-publish and then market it with all you’re worth. Some people do make it like that and then are picked up by mainstream agents.
    Most importantly, never seem insecure when you’re writing to an agent.

    • Lisa Kramer says:

      I have self-publishing in the back of my mind, but I want to try the traditional process. I believe that there is value in working with an editor/publisher. While I’ve read some really good self-published stuff, I’ve also read some really bad stuff where I shake my head and go “oh, you really needed an outside eye.” Anyway, no worries, I vented my insecurities here so I can be confident wen writing agents. 😉

  8. nrhatch says:

    Good luck with your queries.

    Thought you might be interested in this list:

  9. Seriously Lisa, it’s SO scary but every writer gets rejected, you have to rip the bandaid off and go for it. Believe in yourself and your writing and go for it. You can do it!!

    • Lisa Kramer says:

      But, see, that’s just the thing. I’m not really afraid of rejection. It’s horrible, but I’ve survived it before and I will survive again. So what AM I afraid of?

  10. Donna Parrone says:

    Just Do it! 🙂

  11. Kathy says:

    Am thinking about the fear we all have. How it’s a real part that comes up, but it’s held within something larger that we are. Am learning that it’s possible to feel fear, desire, all sorts of emotions but see them as arising “in” me…not as the real me which is larger than all that. The hardest thing for me to witness has been desire.

    What is the famous spiritual saying? “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” Remembering that today.

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