It's officially sunk in. A novel I wrote will be published in early 2018. Soon strangers and friends will be reading my book. Reviews will come in. Judgments will be made. The thought that someone other than me and a few people at the publishing house are going to read it has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone I can no longer see it in the rear-view mirror. But, as my friend Tyson posted in support on my Facebook page, all the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. So, here I am... standing outside my comfort zone hoping that the magic will happen.
As someone who is voracious for knowledge and understanding, I took to Google to see if other new authors felt this way. Turns out pretty much every single one mirrors my feelings. Every big author at one time started out right where I am, publishing their first book... terrified, unsure, and trying not to regret this decision. Lots of writers have written incredible stories that have never been published. They sit on a drive on their computer or in a dusty notebook, only due to the fear of judgement and ridicule from others. It's a part of you you're sending out into the world, raw and exposed, when you write a book. Harsh words can send an author high-tailing it back into the comfort zone swearing never to let anyone read their work again. It's not just authors who feel this way, though... it's anyone who creates.
Artists, actors, architects, chefs, graphic designers, and so many more... all at some point have to show their creations to the world. Breaths held fast in their chest while they wait in anticipation for the reaction. Do they love it? Hate it? Do I need to fill out an application at McDonald's? These are all thoughts that must go through their heads, just as they are going through mine the closer we get to introducing my book to the world. But if you are going to do anything great in this world, you need to push through that fear and give it a college try. Who knows, maybe they will be the next Julia Child, Clint Eastwood, Stephen King, or Picasso. They'll never know unless they try... just as those names listed could have faded away unknown into history had they not stepped out of their comfort zone and showed their creations to the world.
I can only hope that my book will be well-received; that it will bring some joy and entertainment to those who read it. Hopefully, my next book will be even stronger... the next after that even better. I hope to learn and grow as a writer with each new novel, honing my craft and improving my writing. This baby writer has a lot to learn, but writing is something I enjoy doing just for the joy of doing it. If even a few people enjoy my first novel, I will call that a win. Now I just need to keep reminding myself that the fear threatening to send me running is normal, good even. It means I'm trying something new, pushing myself further than I have before, and starting a new journey that could lead to many great new places.
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