IWSG: Working Without A Net


One of my friends from long-ago is the unrivaled King of Snark. He prefers to think of himself as the Crown Prince, but I think he’s being modest. And right now, even as I write this, I am working my way into a full-blown crisis of confidence because of him.

Okay, well it’s not really his fault. I was already in mid-crisis long before I contacted him.

I just asked him to read a chapter from my newest book and give me honest feedback, and now I’m freaking out while I wait for him to get back to me. Not because I’m afraid he’ll hate it and tear it to shreds, but because I’m afraid he’ll say he likes it and I won’t believe him.

You see, in Fat, Fifty, and Menopausal, I don’t have a lot of filters. One would think that should be fairly obvious from the title, but now I’m not so sure. It seemed funny when I thought of it; it seemed funny when I wrote the first draft. But now? Now I’m starting to have doubts. I’m scared I’ve gone too far. Even the title might be too much, I’m afraid.



I’m from a generation of women who don’t talk about personal things like Menopause. Women who lie about their age. Who refer to themselves as “curvy” or “voluptuous” but never ever come right out and say the “f” word. What the heck is wrong with me? Why in God’s name would I write a book about being fat, fifty and menopausal? I’m afraid this is all too personal, too much. That I’ve crossed the line into an uncomfortable level of self-disclosure.

What if no one finds it funny? What if the King of Snark comes back to me later tonight with nothing more than a patronizing comment like, “It’s cute. Thanks for sharing”?

Part of me hopes the book comes out and disappears without a trace like my other book in the “Humor” category. That no one ever reads it and we can all just politely agree to pretend that it never happened.

At the same time, I really do believe in this project. I wanted to write it because the last five years of my life have been sheer hell, and I feel as though the only thing that got me through it was my sense of humor. There were days when finding a reason to laugh became a survival technique, and that’s what I’m trying to convey with this book —  that it’s crucial to be able to laugh even when things are looking pretty dark.

My inner critic is telling me to cancel the pre-order on Amazon and stick to the relative safety of writing romance novels about people who don’t really exist outside of my  imagination. My inner critic is a bit of a jerk, to be totally honest. I’m not listening to her.

I want to be the kind of writer who takes risks. Who pushes the envelope. Who walks that really fine line between doing something brilliant or something really, incredibly stupid.

I don’t know about the other writers out there, but this — this feeling of terror mingled with anticipation, of pride mixed with panic, of hope muddled with doubt — this feeling that I have right now is why I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl pounding out short stories on a toy typewriter.

Sometimes in life, you just have to take a risk and work without a net.

If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.  — Seth Godin

This was written as part of the Insecure Writers Support Group. To find out more about this wonderfully supportive group and find out how to join the blog hop, click here.


Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

6 thoughts on “IWSG: Working Without A Net”

  1. Goodness – I laugh at your funny blogs – and in doing so laugh at myself. I can’t wait for the book – thinking back fondly on Erma Bombeck (as in “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”) and in reading your title think that it will be something along those lines… funny and truthful. The unique, awesome kind of humor that makes us identify with you and laugh at ourselves as you share moments that are very familiar to us as well. (That’s what I get from your blog as well.) Maybe I’m a bit of a Pollyanna (well, OK, maybe I AM a Pollyanna) but I think it will be awesome and can’t wait to read it!


    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I would never dare to compare myself with the late, great Erma Bombeck, but yes, I’m going for “funny and truthful.” You know . . . when we reach this age and look in the mirror, we can either laugh or burst into tears. Laughing is a lot more rewarding. 🙂

      I really appreciate all the support and encouragement from you. I’m still nervous about this one, and I will continue to be nervous about it until it’s time to be nervous about the next one, but your kind words have helped calm me down a little bit.. Thank you again.


  2. I don’t have advice because I’m right there with you. I can’t believe I’ve had 3 books subbed to professional publishers and some of them have said nice things even in rejection. It’s mind boggling to put your creative self into something and then wait for it to be criticized. Why do we do this?!!! 😉

    Though I imagine if you had the drive to write what you did, there is someone out there who will get it.


    1. I’m right there with you in wondering why we do this to ourselves?! The creative process is fun, but opening ourselves up for criticism is . . . painful, sometimes.

      I hope you’re right and that there is someone out there who “gets” what we write.


  3. I think you need to take a minute to finish beating yourself up and then sit back. Done? Okay. You and I are from close to the same generation, we don’t talk about that stuff..yeah, we don’t. Sounds fabulous that you are. I can’t wait to read your take.

    Liked by 1 person

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