Forward motion

Right now I’m sitting in my bedroom listening to the sounds of my neighbors, who live two doors down, as they finish packing up their moving van. Occasionally another neighbor will stop by and wish them good luck on their journey.

I don’t know these particular neighbors, because we’ve only lived here 15 months, but I remember that particular combination of exhaustion and anticipation on the day we moved. That feeling of one chapter closing and another opening, the sadness of leaving behind our home of twenty years and the pure excitement of finally having achieved our goal of moving to a bigger home, in a neighborhood with trees and big backyards and good schools.

I’ve done hard work before. I’ve set goals and I’ve achieved them. Publishing my book shouldn’t be any different, right?

I’m a person with anxiety, and it’s so easy to let fear take the wheel (or more accurately, let fear take the keys so we just sit in the driveway, listening to the radio but not going anywhere.) I have specific goals and dreams, but they are so scary and the work to achieve them is overwhelming.

I thought writing my book was the hard part. Then I thought revising was the hard part. But no — those are my strengths. As long as I make the time to do these things, they are honestly as easy as breathing.

This morning I’m reading articles about establishing an author platform, social media content planning, building an author “brand”… and, well, my stomach hurts and my heart is pounding and I kind of want to just go back to bed.

My book and I have had a good run. So what if I’m the only one who ever gets to read it?

“Do it scared” is great in theory, but my question is HOW? How do you do something that gives you stomach pains and heart palpitations? How do you go from “I’m going to be sick” to “I can do this”?

It all feels so big and scary and icky and awful. I’m an artist, not a business person. I don’t want to sell me as a brand.

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