“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” ~ Erma Bombeck
I received an email from my publisher yesterday explaining that I should have my exact release date and final cover for my novel by the middle of December. Of course, the news is exciting, and of course, I screamed. Ok, so perhaps, I even did a happy dance in the living room with the blinds closed. Hey, who wouldn’t if they were in the same boat? Every writer I know would be dancing right beside me.
When I first started my novel I didn’t tell anyone. I don’t really know why. It’s not like I really believed that any of my family or friends would have looked at me and said. “Well that’s a really stupid idea.” or “What are you crazy? You can’t write.” Perhaps, it was mostly the doubt in myself that spoke to the demons.
Truth is, I had always dreamed of writing a novel, but I never believed I could, and the doubt even continued a few years in. I think that reason, coupled with the sincere possibility I would fail, is what kept me from saying anything. I didn’t want to face the questions of what happened with your book and why did you quit. I haven’t quite lived up to my expectations with a lot of things in my life and I didn’t want to add another to the bunch, and telling people would make this one thing public, not personal like most of the other flaws.
After awhile, though, I shared my news, and the support has been overwhelming and wonderful. Not to mention, since I’m just months away from holding my novel in my hand, I know that this is one thing I haven’t failed at. I went after it, stuck with it no matter how hard it was and how much I wanted to quit at times, and I succeeded. At least until this point, I might change my tune when reviews start coming in. 😉
Anyways, receiving the email, while exciting, has also exposed a very raw fear. Other than my articles and blogs, my novel has been, up until now, mine. All mine, and in January, my novel will hit the mass market and will be open for all the world to see….and all the people I know to see. Letting such a personal element of yourself out there for all to see is hard…very hard. Opening up something you’ve held so dear to ridicule is a hard pill to swallow. Certainly, I know I won’t please everyone with my story, characters, and writing. But, my hope is that people enjoy it and are entertained more than not.
I supposed in the end, though, in order to live my dream, I must have the courage to show my dream.