When I was in elementary school I used to write short stories. The only thing I can really remember from any of them is a scene in one where the main character is running from a monster of some kind on a muddy trail. They weren’t aware that their feet were leaving prints in the mud and leading the monster directly to them. In middle school I wrote an essay length poem about being a leaf that fell from a tree at the end of Fall and I loved it so much that I memorized it even though it had nothing to do with the assignment. In high school I took to writing skits for our churches youth group and writing and taking photos for the yearbook. In college I joined the paper, I co-created a feminist poetry band (that deserves a post in itself if I’m being honest with you) and I wrote mediocre short stories that tapped into the strangest and least censored version of myself.
I’ve been writing this blog for over 7 years and I’ve taken on freelance writing opportunities here and there. But, I’ve never considered writing as a career option outside of the BIG PLAN. All the way back to my first journal that I started when I was 9 years old you can read, “I hope to one day get my journal published.” Writing a book has been my ‘big plan’ for as long as I have memories. It’s the only thing I’ve ever felt like I couldn’t live without.
That’s probably why I’ve never started it.
As long as it was the thing that I could look forward to then I could fail at anything I tried and never really feel like I’ve failed. You see in my mind, nothing has ever mattered to me except this hypothetical book that I would write one day. I’d created the belief that the book had to be wildly successful or I will have officially failed. SO, as long as I don’t write it, I’m safe.
Through a series of experiences all compiling together, I’ve found myself more and more ready to make a move in the direction of my largest dream and I am TERRIFIED. I’ve allowed myself to observe that feeling and to not feel pressured into action and then it hit me.
No one’s first book is their best book!
Well, I’m sure someone’s is, but, it’s not common right.
I realized that I’m going to have to write several books if I want even one of them to find success. I don’t have to write a New York Times Bestseller. I just have to write. That has taken the weight of the world off of this poor little book’s shoulders and this weekend I got started. I put pen to paper and thoughts to the keyboard and I’m making headway.
I’ve never felt more invigorated about something in my life. I’m scared and eager and scared and relieved.
This may not be ‘the book’ but, it’s my first book and I’m finally OK with admitting that it means everything to me.
As I start determining if I’ll send it to publishers or self-publish I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you had any experience with this before? Comment or message me with any advice/thoughts/encouragement you have. I can definitely use it!
Thanks for being here.