Later tonight, I'm going to be writing up the afterword to "T.X. Watson's The Book." In a way, this part of the project is stressing me out more than the actual writing of the piece did. I get a lot of performance anxiety when it comes to writing. But it doesn't really come up during the process of drafting. That part, I can just work through. When it really hits is when I'm doing something that indicates my acknowledgement that I want people to read my work.
It's this weird moment of intense personal exposure -- when I'm writing an author's note, or submitting a story for publication, I have to drop all my defenses and accept that I care about what other people think, that I want them to pay attention to my work and to like it, and like me. Add to that the fact that this exposure comes at the time where rejection would be most damaging to me, and I'm faced with an intensely terrifying prospect.
Tonight, I'll probably just have a gin and tonic while I write it. But that's not really a long-term fix. If I've got any readers who've been checking out my blog through The Book, or who've just stumbled on lately and have anything they'd like to say about dealing with the stress that comes with needing to open up but not wanting to be rejected, I'd love to hear about it in comments.