So, how many of you leap into things, smiling through faces while hiding a certain amount of quavering within?
I’ve done it all my life, think I’ve come from a family who taught me about this, created another family who can do it. It’s a useful skill. Got me through university, job interviews, marriage, parenting. (Though those last two are debatable – not sure if I succeeded there.) (Probably ex-husband and kids would have something to add here – hope they don’t. Some illusions are necessary for me to keep my aging smile properly polished.)
The only problem is, the inner quavering is still there. Tapping on the insides, making your brain make bad decisions, sending you into wee tailspins of anxiety. It used to appear before I taught a class or did public speaking, only to slip away at the actual time of delivery. The only reminder was a feeling of unreality during the engagement and a curious fatigue after it, like I’d run a race. Stage fright, as they call it.
Now that I’m older and more uncertain of my cognitive abilities, that fright is stronger, lasts longer.
I haven’t slept well for weeks, and it’s all about the book, trying to get the book out, worrying about the book. Thought I had it all happily created, only to realize with a gasp the file I used wasn’t the one I wanted and besides, there were formatting things (like dual chapter headings) that loomed in my sub- and conscious mind. Eeeks! It wasn’t perfect, that I knew, but stupid mistakes are just that. They needed to be purged. Fixed. Redressed.
Currently, the revised files are being evaluated by Kindle Direct Publishing before they get finally uploaded. Thank heavens I had yet another look at things. Formatting computer documents isn’t my strong point and if I’d been smarter, I would have hired someone to do it for me, but there I went, leaping in as if I knew what I was doing, grinning madly all the while.
Not that I MIND waking up at 4 AM, really. It’s lovely and quiet out and the apartment is warm and cozy and I can schlep about in jammies without worrying about delivery men coming to the door. Even the radio is sotto voce. It’s pleasant.
The gnawing anxiety isn’t so good. It makes me nervous eat, sucking back carbs and needing things to chew on – popcorn, random pieces of string.
So, I squash it, ignore it, put my mind in other places and pretend things aren’t happening, at least until someone mentions they have ordered my book and then the circle spins again. What will they THINK?
Truth is, I can’t make anyone LIKE what I’ve written. I am so grateful if they are willing to support my wee venture. I’ve learned a lot about publishing and have ever so much more to learn. I just hope not to embarrass myself into dust.
And my story seems small, given that it is, in fact, small. It’s not going to change the world. But then, I never really thought I could – no, that’s not true. I was brought up to believe I would.
I blame my mother for that. She KNEW we would all be mavericks, leaders, changers. (She was wrong, incidentally, but we’ve all been imploding trying to meet that expectation)
As I toddle into my 60’s, I realize that my changing the world probably isn’t going to happen. Except in the small ways that we all change a teeny part of our world as we go along. And of course, changing ourselves to make the world better. I can only hope my little changes are good ones.
Unlike in online publishing, I can’t resubmit and erase the errors.
Want to see the book I’ve been toiling over? Here’s the blurb for Recycled Virgin and a link:
What if the Virgin Mary never ascended? What if she’s been hard at work on earth for generations? What if she finds out that the real story of her religion’s founding has been lost in a melee of male privilege?
The former Blessed Virgin Mary has had enough. She’s spent the past 2000 years looking after others, only to find that her true story has been erased. No one knows the real Miryam, the flesh and blood mother, the woman who taught the foundations of a world-wide religion to her often disobedient son.
As she lives through her latest reincarnation, she struggles to understand why she keeps returning. Will her study at a Theological College finally allow her to free herself? Will she be able to retell her story, make herself real? Will she find the other half to her soul?
Recycled Virgin is the first book in the Scleratis Series.
Note: it’s the FIRST book, which implies there will be more, and there are. So it’s back to chewing string for the next while…