Great Advice, But...
One of the best things that I took away from Clarion was Jim Kelly's advice, "Write what scares you." This little phrase has been like a touchstone for me to come back to whenever I start to shy away from a particularly difficult story, whenever I become afraid of trying something totally new. It's advice that I've passed on to friends, with great success. In the things that frighten you are the greatest risks, the greatest truths, the greatest reward.
Fantastic. But here's the thing: scary is hard
. It is, by definition, scary.
And so I'm caught right now between boundless optimism and utter terror, wondering how on earth people do this. For every book on the bookstore shelves, I know that there are thousands more novels out there written and waiting to be (and likely never to be) published. People write books every day. Surely it gets easier than this.
But the truly scary thing is that I don't think it does get easier. This is it. Welcome to the world of writing novels.