Stephen King says the scariest time is just before you start. Baloney! No disrespect to the master — he knows a thing or two or plenty about writing that I’ve surely yet to learn — but the scariest moment isn’t at the beginning when your terror’s mitigated by hope and gumption and the innocent desire to discover what will happen if you really see this thing through.
The scariest moment is five minutes after you finish. That’s when thinking about and preparing for the striptease becomes the moment you rip the curtain down and face the stage. And it’s your book going out there, not you.
Your task is to push it out onto the stage and say: go ahead — trust the audience, honey. Trust them to receive you while I collapse in a heap of exhaustion and pray for your success. Trust them not to throw rotten fruit at you or look away before you get to the good part.
Trust them to love you better than I have — because you don’t belong to me anymore; you belong to them.
Writing is about as humbling as it gets — it’s 100% service. Service to the idea that hired you and the characters who confided in you and the audience that may or may not grant safe passage for the unveiling of a lifetime.