Musings, Writing

Do nerves equal passion?

It’s very weird that your goal as a writer is to have people read your work but the thought of them actually reading it is terrifying.

I posted that yesterday on Twitter and I’m still thinking about it. I’ve never particularly enjoyed showing my writing to people to read especially when it’s the first person you send a new story to and yet my goal is to be a published author having hopefully a lot of people reading my books. I think the reason I feel this way is when you’re so passionate about something, it’s very scary to give it over to someone else – like you’re parting with a piece of your soul. What if they don’t like it and think you’re rubbish? Or what if they like it and it might actually become something great? Both outcomes are equally scary somehow 🙂

I wonder if this fear gets any weaker the more success you have with your writing. I wonder whether published authors become so used to showing their work to people they are indifferent to it. Or perhaps the fear never goes away because you stay just as passionate about writing as you were at the start and you’ll always be nervous about letting a new piece of work go.

It’s perhaps a similar feeling to musicians – some big stars will still admit to feeling nervous before they step out on stage and actually welcome the nerves and the adrenaline it brings, feeling that if they lose it they won’t care as much and not give as good of a performance. I’m kind of this mindset. I think the nerves I feel are a good sign – it means I care what people think of my writing, and I want it to be as good as it can be. I would worry that if I became too comfortable with it, I might have lost some of my passion for it.


How do you feel when someone reads your writing? Do you think nerves equal passion?




26 thoughts on “Do nerves equal passion?”

  1. I get ridiculously nervous! Being nervous means you care if your work is good and if the reader enjoyed what you wrote.

  2. I definitely think being nervous helps, and it does mean that you don’t take things for granted. I expect a lot of authors whose work has declined in quality over the years have become less worried about the quality of their output.

    Being nervous just means you care about your work, which can’t be a bad thing 🙂

    1. Maybe that’s true – I guess they might start concentrating on the contracts – hitting deadlines etc and worry less about the actually content. But I hope it doesn’t happen too often, makes me feel kind of sad and I would hate it to happen to me!

  3. I think nerves are a sign that you’re not complacent about your writing. I can’t imagine ever not feeling nervous when showing someone something I’ve written for the first time–there’s always that nagging doubt in the back of my mind that they may not like it.

  4. I feel terrified letting other people read what I’ve written–especially if I’m right there in the same room as them! I suppose a small amount of nervousness is healthy, as long as you don’t let it stop you from putting your writing out there.

    1. Oh I don’t think I could ever be in the same room 😉 I’m in awe of authors who pitch to agents at conferences, I’d be terrified! Exactly, it’s a bit like ripping off a plaster (band-aid), you just have to do it!

  5. Creative tension…is good. Keeps us on our toes. But there is a point where one has to decide, within the mores of decency and civil intercourse, to not worry about what other people think. Of course, to actually SELL BOOKS—-that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax! For what it is worth, I’m reblogging this onto my blog, BY THE MIGHTY MUMFORD, so others can share in your thoughts and commiserate!!! 🙂

  6. I published my book a year ago and I still feel nervous when someone marks it as Currently-Reading on GoodReads or buys a copy of it. It’s normal to worry about it, and I really doubt that it would ever go away. It’s an inherent part of being a writer.

  7. Nerves reflect passion, yes! Nerves show that you want to succeed and I think without nerves there’d be no drive. When I first showed the novel I’m currently working on to someone, I was so terrified that they would judge me or not like it, but (regardless of whether they gave positive or negative feedback) I still did it because I knew it was the first step.

  8. I think nerves mean you care which means your emotionally invested in it which usually means its a passion. 🙂 So yup I arrive at the same conclusion you do. 🙂

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