I suffer from many different neurosis, which includes both anxiety and paranoia. That can become problematic for an author, and let me explain why.
I love creating stories. The voices in my head refuse to shut up until I've put their story onto paper. I also really enjoy researching things and putting my findings onto paper. I love sharing those stories/observations with other people, but it also scares me to death to think that people will actually read it.
Earlier this week, I gave the people who helped me with Undead Obsessed copies of the book. And I had an internal freak out about them reading it. I started to panic. What if they don't like it? What if I didn't edit their parts the way I was supposed to? What if they want me to change something?
I talked myself down, telling myself everything was going to be all right. Later in the day, I delivered a couple of the books, and the professors seemed excited to get them. As I left, I had second thoughts about giving them copies. I had to fight every urge to run back into the buildings and take them back.
Again, I calmed myself down. I spent the night and this morning thinking about the situation and trying to figure out why it was bothering me so much. After all, these people knew from the beginning that I was interviewing them for a book. I gave them the courtesy of reviewing their chapters before finalizing the chapters, and I made the vast majority of the edits they suggested. So why was I still freaking out about it?
As I thought about it more, I realized it was because I didn't think I was worthy to have written it. I had convinced myself that all the hard work I had done was worthless. No one was going to like it, least of all the people who helped me with it, and they were going to be angry at me for associating them with the project.
And the truth of the matter is: they could. They could hate it. They could be upset to be associated with it, but you know what? That's their prerogative. They were given the opportunity before it came out to make changes, and they did. But at the end of the day, I'm still the author. I did the best I could. I wrote what I wanted to write. I don't need anyone's permission to research and find answers to questions I want answers to. I'm allowed to write anything that strikes my fancy.
It would be incredibly naive of me to think that everyone in the world is going to like my work, but I can't let that stop me. I can't be afraid to do what I want to do because someone in the world might not like it. I can't continue to believe I'm not good enough.
Putting my writing out there is scary, and it opens me up to criticism. I know that, and I have to be able to deal with it. For the most part, I can, but the illogical part of my brain, the neurosis, can make it incredibly difficult. However, there is no reward without risk, and I'm willing to take the chance. I hope the rest of you are too.