I celebrated an enormous milestone this past week. My middle grade book, Tomorrow’s Promise was (finally) published. I know I mentioned the book before, in another post, and how long of a road it was to finishing it. It’s something I’ve dreamed so long I can scarcely believe it’s true! All I’ve ever wanted to do was write, as I am aware I also mentioned before. Do you want to know a secret? I’m terrified.
The maze of marketing and social media leaves me light headed. I’m not as technologically advanced as I’d like to be. I am also the poster child for introverts anonymous. I’m reading and trying to learn all I can about the business side of writing, but I know I am going to make mistakes. I’m okay with that, after all, I can’t learn if I continue to sit on the sidelines not participating. I’m trying to pace myself and go about this logically, but truthfully, sometimes my ADD keeps me from doing anything in any kind of logical order. I jump from one thing to another and productivity suffers. I’ll figure it out in due time I suppose.
Want to know another secret? I’m scared of more than the business aspect. I suppose I should be more confident in my abilities, or else care less about what anyone thinks of this book or the books to follow. That is easier said than done. Yes, I write for myself. Yes, I’d write if no one ever read a word, but at the same time I’ve put that book out there and now desperately hope for it to be read. I’m proud of my work, and yet I cringe in fear wondering what people will think of it.
Am I being too honest? Am I supposed to keep this part of my soul out of my blogs? I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to be anything other than what I am right now in this moment. Maybe I share too much, but this is supposed to be about a journey and sometimes journeys are about fear and getting out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s about challenging yourself. It’s all well and good to think of close family and friends reading my books. They will be happy for me, pat me on the back and say, “Good job!” Some will offer thoughts of my work. None would want to be unkind.
My daughter came home from school today beaming because she has told everyone about my book and her teachers can’t wait to read it. Suddenly I don’t feel so well. I picture my daughter’s English teacher frowning over my poor grammar, even if some of it is intentional. I don’t want to think about acquaintances judging my words. Suddenly I am afraid. I am afraid that now my soul is out there, perched on a ledge, and people are going to see it. It’s a moment I waited thirty years for. I feel sick.
I love books. I love writing. I write because my world is empty if I don’t. I am humbled by the talent around me. I am discovering authors that are new to me and finding so much literary brilliance to be in awe of. I stand by my words. I stand by this book and the next, but it is ever so hard to be judged.
I think too much. I worry too much. I know I won’t stop writing. I can’t. It is as much a part of me as my green eyes or the streaks of grey in my hair. Maybe I do share too much, as I said. I know this is an exciting time for me and that I’m thrilled to be where I am. I think it’s okay that I’m scared. After all, I’m only human, right? I’ll make mistakes and I’ll continue to learn. I’ll strive to be better every day. I’ll strive for excellence in my writing and live to produce stories that are well written and honest; stories I can be proud of. Maybe no one will like them, but maybe someone will. So that is why I continue to write. I continue to live the dream that I can touch that one someone with my words and for a brief moment share my soul with them. I am grateful for the opportunity.