My greatest fear as an author

I’m almost done watching Season 2 of Loki on Disney Plus (I know I’m behind. I hate waiting every week for a new episode so I’m in the camp that waits until every episode is out before beginning to watch), and episode 5 struck a nerve with me.

There aren’t any spoilers, so don’t worry.

One of the characters in episode 5 is at a bookstore trying to buy a book that won’t scan. The cashier insists she has to be able to scan the book for inventory control while the character says he could just pay for the book with cash, without need for a receipt. The cashier then checks the book jacket and sees the character is the author of the book, and another person working at the store chases him out of the store, saying, “You again? Stop coming here! No one wants to buy your books!”

There is horror, and there are traumatic scenes in movies. Sometimes they can be both, too, which this scene was for me.

Because I could see myself doing something like that all too well. I finally get one of my books published, only for everyone to unanimously agree they never want to read them. I’m, thus, stuck wandering from bookstore to bookstore (or the book sections of Big Box stores) surreptitiously dropping my books off onto the shelves and praying.

The greatest fear for me, anyway, as an author is not that people won’t like what I write. I don’t care if someone reads my books and says, “Give me my time and money back. This was the worst thing I’ve read since that counting book I read to my kid last night.” I don’t care if reviewers say absolutely horrible things about me as a writer. None of that would matter, because at least it meant they’d read even some of my book.

No, the worst fear for me is no one wanting to read the books in the first place. I don’t know if every author shares this fear, but I would have to imagine they do. What author wants to pour their heart and soul into a book, only to be met by a world that won’t even read it?

I’m going to continue plodding along, writing and trying to get these books I can’t stop writing published, all while praying there is at least one person on earth who wants to read them.