Yrsa Daley-Ward was recently in town blessing us all with a reading of Bone. I made it a priority to be there and am glad I did. Her presence is nothing less comforting and her words are captivating. When she finished reading, she told me (and everyone else in the crowd), “Just do it. Just put your work out there.”
Two weeks ago, I thought the toughest part of writing a book would be finishing it. It’s so easy to start. Any little thing can trigger inspiration and over time the story begins to unfold. But how does it end? When does it end? Always unsure whether I’ll be satisfied with the finished product. I’ve caught myself hesitating to start projects out of fear that I would lose momentum somewhere along the way.
This time, I’ve actually made it to the end, and what felt so difficult before now seems so minute. I’m slowly learning there will always be barriers. The newest one being publishing. My favorite sentence, as of late, has been “I’ve finished a book now all I have to do is publish it.” As if this is a small task. I was almost expecting to just click submit and post it to Kindle. However, publishing is mad work. I still need a cover, an author page, an ISBN number, and a host of other things that I don’t fully understand. Additionally, writing is free while publishing would cause me to come out the pockets a bit.
FYI, money makes me so uncomfortable. I’m not exactly financially stable and although I will one day make a living off of my writing, I’m not there yet. Therefore, how can I afford to invest in anything that isn’t going to feed me today?
The more concerns that arose, the more discouraged I felt. That’s how my insecurity works. I become so defeated that I immediately start making excuses and procrastinating until eventually whatever I’m working on falls by the wayside. I started listing all the ways I was unprepared.
I didn’t plan my budget.
I don’t have a huge following.
I don’t have any prior experience.
Following the defeat was the self-doubt. I told myself that perhaps my work isn’t good enough to be published anyway. I considered posting the whole book as a blog and forgetting about it.
A friend referred me to Shelah Marie’s Meditation Mixtape, and I allowed my thoughts to be soothed. It helped. The tracks entitled “ Serious Daydreaming” and “Acceptance” spoke to me the most. I played them over and over and decided that it was time to be patient with myself.
I went back to my action plan and broke it down, step by step. I now have three cover designs to choose from and I’m currently looking into loans to get me started. I even managed to pass my book around for inputs and edits. I’m taking my time with this part of the process. Advice is not always easy for me but, I do want this book to translate so I’m trying to be open.
All in all, I’m optimistic about the work. It’s just going to take a little longer than I had hoped. When I find that my energy is low, I remember Yrsa’s words “Just do it. Just put your work out there.”