Today I am terrified. I'm not sure the reason. Maybe it was seeing The Help this weekend, a wonderful screen version of a terrific novel and feeling my story is so small in comparison. Maybe it was reading The New York Times yesterday and being reminded of last week's roller coaster ride in the markets that the media seized upon. Seriously, these are crazy times, but doesn't soaking yourself in the news just magnify the reality exponentially?
I always think starting with the Style section will ease the blow. But there on the front page was that headline, Maybe It's Time for Plan C, an article in which the author takes great care to point out as much of the negative as possible when pursuing your passion. For a brief moment it caused me to second guess my choice to go for Plan B. Or maybe it was the other article, the one entitled In St. Louis, I'm a Failure that talked about Amazon's data that it makes available to its authors that allows you to track each and every book sale by geography. It occurred to me that in approximately a month's time, I would be able to track mine. I will know every copy of The Secrets They Kept that is sold and not sold.
There comes that terror again, raging through my body.
What if no one buys it?
Today I am terrified. I am really going to do this. I spent the weekend looking at concepts for my book cover. This afternoon I will discuss with my designer the direction I want to go. I have edits to make and hours to spend on Smashwords and talking to the folks at CreateSpace. I am terrified.
I am in too far to back out. I don't want to back out. I'm past that point. I'm in the stage where I just keep moving forward and try not to let the nausea seep up from my stomach to my throat. Seth Godin must be sensing it because his post today was about me. I've dug my hole.
That Times article talked about stress. But that is not what this feels like. I did not leave the corporate world thinking I would have no stress as an independent worker. In much the way you don't stop having disagreements with your boyfriend just because you like the new one more than the old one. It's just a different argument, a different kind of stress. In each case you hope this time it is borne of love.
What I'm feeling today is not stress. This is terror. That realization that I am doing this. I am no longer waiting. I am self-publishing my first novel. I might fall on my face and this be a disaster. I may get more bad reviews than good ones. But I am doing this. I will be seen. And I am terrified.