Well, it’s been a little over three months since I published my first novel. Before releasing my book, I was so afraid of so many things. I was afraid of tackling the entire project by myself (the cover, the formatting, the editing, the marketing). I was afraid of making some huge mistake that I could never recover from. I was afraid there would be reviewers waiting to shred my book to pieces.
You know what I’ve encountered?
Incredible support from my friends. Amazing enthusiasm from my family. It’s gone better than I imagined it would. I’m so thankful I made the leap and even more thankful for the people who’ve been there to catch me.
To tell the truth, when I received my copy of my first published book, I was so thrilled. I could barely contain my excitement. Then I read it and discovered a few typos and formatting errors and my heart fell to my stomach. I had added some new content recently that didn’t receive the years of combing the rest of the manuscript had endured. Yes, I’d read it before publishing but I’ve read it so many times I think my eyes literally skip whole words because I already know what’s there (or what should be there).
Despite the imperfections, I’m glad I forged ahead. I’d spent years on this one project and I’m a very monogamous person. I like to read one book at a time. I like to write one story at a time. If I had any hope of moving on and writing something new, I needed to move past this book. At any rate, there were some mistakes, but you know what?
The world didn’t end!
It’s true! I’m still here. People read the book and some even liked it! No one has torn it to pieces (yet). I fixed the errors, reloaded the document, and moved on (One of the bonuses of doing this myself, there weren’t 50,000 copies out there with typos. On the other hand, a professional editor at a publishing company would have caught them. Ah, well, can’t have everything.)
I have since been so motivated. I’ve written the rough draft of the second book in the series. I’ve started blogging again and I’m considering starting a newsletter. I’m excited about continuing this story. I’m excited about continuing this journey. I’m even looking forward to dusting off and polishing the other two manuscripts I’ve been sitting on for about five years.
I’m creating. I’m happy. This was the right choice for me at this point in time.
As writer’s we face fear all the time: fear of rejection, fear of querying yet another agent or publisher, fear of that first bad review, fear of never finishing the book, etc. etc. etc. As human beings we face fear every day: the fear of loss, the fear of commitment, the fear of failure. As a parent I face more fear than I ever thought I was capable of tolerating. At some point, we have to let go of the fear and trust that things are going to work out. I think it’s so important to do your best in every situation, to learn everything you can and give it your all and, at some point, when your heart is telling you it’s time, to face that fear and walk right over it. Because what’s the opposite of fear?
Without hope, there’s nothing left.
So, go ahead, face that fear, walk right over it, you might be amazed by what’s waiting on the other side.
What’s your biggest fear? What are you doing to work past it?