Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Chasing the Dream to Publish my Book

I have this crazy idea in my head that I would like to publish the book I’ve been working on for the past 5 years and have been working on it like mad lately.  I have a friend who has agreed to edit the thing, and as she works in the school system, she said that Christmas break would be best for her, so I’ve been typing in pretty much every moment when Paul was asleep, letting my house go and even eschewing homeschooling quite a bit in order to get it done.

What happened with my book is that I had the first draft all typed up and had gone over it in an editing kind of way, planning to format it, print it, and give it to her.  This was a number of years ago.  But guess what?!  My hard-drive crashed and I did not have it properly backed up.  Actually, I was backing up my computer when it crashed.  And I didn’t have the book saved anywhere else in it’s entirety.  The program I’d had it originally typed in was obscure, and when I tried to open the first half, which I had emailed myself at one time with another program, it was all jumbled letters and numbers that were not the words of my book.  (So, we all know this, but always, always, always, always back up what you have written – in multiple places and in multiple forms/drafts.  Please, learn from my mistake!)

Luckily, I had handwritten the whole book first.  As I was writing the first draft, without any real intention of it becoming what it became, but rather just to create something and to write again since I had given it up for a while after I had my daughter, I originally found that it was easiest for me to slip it in by writing in a notebook while Elizabeth was napping so I didn’t have to wait for the computer to turn on.  When I finished it by hand, I typed it up, and when it was all done, I tried to print it, but the printer putzed out about half way through, and I never got around to printing the rest, leaving me with only the last 100 pages or so.  Thus, I had not completely lost the thing.

Since then, I have just been having to retype it, little by little until about mid-November, when I decided to try to get it done by my friend’s Christmas break.  Luckily, the second half was quite a bit easier to do because it was in a more complete state, though I was not even through the very original first 25 pages of typed material when I got hooked on the idea to try to publish it for real this time around.  One good thing about losing the original first draft is that I think that it has come out better the second time.  Yay!

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Sir Percival with my manuscript materials (I know, no clip art, but that one on top is the first of the first, before it was intended as anything more than pure fun)

And as I am sitting here typing this, unsure if I will actually get it in an appropriate format to print TOMORROW, around an interview no less – that I ought to be preparing for, I still wonder if I am strong enough to do it.  Do I have what it takes?  Is my writing good enough?  You know, I’ve never let anyone read it, though recently, I did email it to my sisters, and I am waiting for them to have a chance to get through it.  So, I’ve got tons of questions pertaining to the publishing aspect, writing up a proposal, editing conundrums that I need some advice on, and I just plain old need someone to read it.

But, it’s also about ‘facing the fear and doing it anyway. ‘ I don’t know where that phrase came from, I found it in pink ink, written in my seventh grade scrawl amongst some old poems and things one day, but boy has it been poignant in my life lately.  Look at that fear, stare it in the face, and then MOVE TOWARDS IT!

Do I dare?  My book holds so much emotion for me, including an incredible amount of hope, yet it is also a black hole of hopelessness.  Doesn’t any aspiring author hope that their works can be good enough that they can write for a living?  Yet, we all know about the doubts, that we and others have, that it will be accepted at all.  And then even if it is, the truth is that a grand majority of books don’t get bought by anyone but the author’s family and friends.  Is that good enough for me?  What choice do I have?

Thoughts of grandeur are impossible to avoid, we all have them.  Do I think what I have written is going to bounce me to JK Rawling status?  No, not really.  But do I think it’s good?  Well, I like it, and whenever I sit down to go over it, I always think to myself, You know what?  I would read this if it were published.  Does that mean anything?  Don’t know.

Well, at any rate, I think my blog needs some site changes.  When was the last time I wrote a post on nature, or even gentle parenting?  I think it’s time to step it up, and acknowledge that I am going to do this.  Even if the thing just ends up as an ebook, I’m going to see it published.  And I’m going to be my own cheerleader along the way.  So, here I go, searching for my own Best Life, even through all that has been thrown my way in the past few months.

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