Communion Of Dreams

Man, that’s a whole new level of hutzpah.

I was chatting with another friend who is a writer, doing a bit of commiseration about the common panic that hits most writers at some point or another.


Yeah, that nothing you say is worth saying.  That you’re asking readers to spend a part of their time, perhaps part of their money, reading what you write … and the terror that they will not find the trade worthwhile. Just about every writer I have ever known has gone through some version of this. Because face it, it takes a lot of hutzpah to think that you have something worthwhile to say, in a world where it seems like everything of value has already been said better by someone else.

And as I told my friend, I have discovered a whole new level of terror related to this as I have been working to set up the Kickstarter project for St. Cybi’s Well: asking people to actually hand over money before the book has even been written. That takes nerve. And a facade of self-confidence which far exceeds almost anything I’ve ever accomplished previously.

It’s not that I don’t actually think that I can write this book. I know I can. And I know that I can do it in the time-frame I’ve outlined. Combine the experience of writing and then revising Communion of Dreams and Her Final Year, and I know about the pacing of getting a book ready for publication. I know I can also produce the necessary volume of material by the deadlines I’ve set — I’ve done it in the same time frame previously (and recently) in doing freelance articles. So the actual writing is not the problem, though of course there will be challenges as I go through it.

No, it’s the matter of thinking that the book is worth it. Worth asking people to hand over money for it in advance. Because that’s essentially what this Kickstarter will be: asking for advance sales of a book which doesn’t even entirely exist in my head yet. In this way it’s crowd-funding a traditional writer’s advance from a publisher. Except that taking an advance from a publisher meant only potentially disappointing the publisher (and their Board of Directors and share-holders, I suppose). In this instance it means potentially disappointing friends and fans … a *lot* of them. (Hopefully a lot of them, anyway.)

Yeah, that’s a whole new level of terror. And a whole new level of hutzpah for this kid.

Jim Downey


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Chutzpah? You’ve never lacked it before. DO NOT start now. And to you, terror is half the fun (the other half being a chance to exercise your chutzpah).

Comment by Susan Carna Mattingly

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