There is a part of me that’s scared. A big part. Scared that this time is just like other times. Scared that I will have book signings and no one will show up. Forget no one showing up to book signings, what if I can’t get them scheduled at all? What if there are no pre-orders? What if no one tells their friends about the book?
Then there are the reviewers. Maybe the reviews will come back lukewarm. Even worse maybe they’ll absolutely hate it. Wait a minute! Back it up! Will I have enough money to cover my printing costs? Heck, even the big publishing houses are having problems with that one. Why would I be any different?
I’m scared. There. I said it. Scared that there is some awful mistake on page 63 or 100 or 150 that will make people turn up their noses or talk about how terrible a writer I am. I’m even more scared that the book is technically perfect but no one is moved by the story. No one will care enough about the characters. I’d take a missed comma or period over that, any day. Maybe the book is emotion-less. Maybe I’ve become emotion-less. Maybe C.J. doesn’t have the passion of her mother, Sasha, even if her story is written better.
The bottom line is…what if no one loves it? And consequently, what if no one loves me?
I realize that I’m allowing my worth to be tied to these books. It shouldn’t be. But, just for today, it is. That’s my truth. The fear that I could be fooling myself is a noose waiting patiently for me to “hang” it up. It whispers, Can you ever be sure that you’re called to this? Okay, maybe that doesn’t work so much. Because I know that I’m called to it. Then it tries another tactic. Do you really deserve this? That one gets me every time. Yeah, I squeaked by this time. I got the book done. I sent to the editor. I worked with the editor. I sent it to the printer. It’s there now. But what about that next idea? Will it remain hidden in the crevices in my mind because of my lack of discipline, my unwillingness to put to action what I teach people everyday? Am I really that much of a hypocrite?
I admit it. I’m calling into question my purpose. Even as it is being slowly revealed. My Pastor always says that the will of God for our lives, our purpose and our destiny, is found at the intersection of our giftings and our demons. He’s right and that helps. I’m mostly clear about my gifts. And demons I surely know. They are the ones that try to stop me from pouring my heart onto the page. They try to intervene on my desires which, for my fiction, is to become my characters for a spell, put them in situations familiar and not, let their personalities play out in a well constructed plot. The demons hate it when I do that.
This is how I feel. Today. Maybe tomorrow will be different. Yet, I know feelings are deceptive. Important to identify, even acknowledge, but not necessarily reality.
Lord, show me the way.
Go back to the beginning.
Lord, perfect me and my craft for your greatest service.
Go back to the beginning.
In the midst of my fear, I hear Him. My rant leads me to one thing I know for sure:
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. For the bible tells me so.