Two years ago, I was a person who had not written a full length book. The idea of it felt pretty silly – a whole book? No way. Children’s books I could do, they were what I knew and they were safe. No sex scenes in a children’s book. Nothing too controversial. You won’t find anything in a book for a nine year old that will offend your mother in law. Besides, what would my idea be, if I did decide to write one? So many chapters to fill in. No, that wasn’t for me. The whole idea was way too daunting.
But here I am, having released two books myself in the past two years, and two more written and squirreled away. I made a Facebook page and an IG account, and this website, and ALL of that seemed daunting at the time. In fact, every single step of this journey has felt uncomfortable but here’s the thing:
I’m doing it.
I actually am. I entered a writer’s residency competition. I sent manuscripts to publishers. I promoted my books even though self-promotion gives me hives. I learned how to read a bad review and survive (stop reading them). I slowed down, removed any time pressure, and my writing improved as a result – which for me was an achievement, because I’ve always been a manic fast-finisher.
This year my writing is taking me overseas and who knows where else. I’m earning a bit of cash and I feel really good about my latest WIP.
None of this would have happened if I didn’t move past the (at times extreme) uncomfortable feelings and give this thing a go. Trying something new is not easy; being vulnerable and sharing your ideas with other people is not easy either. Maybe that means it’s the good stuff though – that stretch and slightly nauseating fear – I think perhaps that means whatever is on the other side is going to be valuable.
Is there something you secretly want to try but you’ve been putting it off? Can I make a small suggestion?
Read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic for courage and then go out there and just do it.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? Actually, what’s the best thing?