I finished my book after agonizing and agonizing over the smallest details. I read, re-read, edited, listened to it in my car, edited again, then spent DAYS on the cover design. I sat down at my computer with one goal in mind – upload that baby to Amazon. I got half way through the process and chickened out. Two more weeks went by, and I repeated the process over and over until finally I clicked the button. I was relieved and that night, I slept soundly for the first time in weeks.
Why was it so stressful? Because it was part of me. It was a book I had lived and breathed for years. It saved me from fights with my family members because I took out my frustrations in the scenes in the book instead of on my family. It released me from stressful situations because I wrote my way out of difficult situations. It gave me hope that I was accomplishing something when I worried that I had spent another lazy Sunday on my computer – in my pajamas. It had bits and pieces of my real life woven into the fabric of the story. There’s the vacation we took, and one of the photos from that trip became the cover.
It was agonizing to worry that I could have done more with it, that I should have added something or deleted something because when I finally clicked the “publish” button, I ended that chapter of my life. I had gone from being an “aspiring” writer to being an “actual” writer. I had put part of my life out into the universe, and there would be no further revisions. My own history suddenly had a whole new completed chapter. I feared the sense of loss on the other side of that click, but actually, it freed me in ways I’m still discovering.
My book went “live” the following day, and I didn’t check it until I got home from work. I worked the whole day at a completely different job, relishing my little secret that I had a book for sale. I didn’t have a book to edit, revise, or write – I had one FOR SALE. When I got home, I rushed to the computer just to see what my book looked like. I giggled, I sighed, I laughed, I felt totally elated in a way I hadn’t in a very long time. Then I looked at the reports and discovered I’d sold ONE copy! In less than 24 hours, my little book was being read by some stranger and I hoped that I would take that person, whoever it was, on a bit of a journey and make him or her smile once or twice. Now, that was magical!
It was so fulfilling, that the following weekend I started another book. I’m half way through it, and discovering that I write because I entertain myself by doing it. I write as therapy. I write for me, and if someone reads it and enjoys it, then I’ve written for that person as well, and what could be better than that?