Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pushing My Own Buttons


People pay me to push their buttons. That's why people hire a coach. So that someone else will make them do what they stop themselves from doing. Reaching higher. Stretching farther. Shaking things up. Refusing to settle for anything less than what they deserve. Pointing out what they already know but weren't willing to look at. Those things that make their insides turn upside down. 

I'm a professional when it comes to button pushing. But trust me, that does not make it any easier when I am pushing my own. In fact it may make it harder.

With the imminent release of The Secrets They Kept, my first novel, my buttons are being pushed. All those things I have worked on and worked through in my life are making cameo appearances on a daily basis. There are moments when I am literally shaking in my shoes. ( albeit as a member of my very large Greek family recently pointed out, some "styling shoes")

In fact some days it feels like it is 1989 and I am back in Rehoboth Beach on the boardwalk playing a game of Whac-a Mole. As soon as I have squashed one of those moles with that rubber mallet, another pops up. And it is only the prize at the end that keeps me playing.

But what I keep noticing through this process are those moments when I want to stop the train. Push the brake pedal to the floor and turn off the engine. In the back of my brain I hear this little voice that says to get out while you still can. You don't have to do this. Writing is exposing oneself for all the world to see. While my words may be fiction they are wrapped up in my truth, in how I see the world, the sorts of things that my everyday friends and acquaintances may not be privy to. You don't have to let them see.

You are choosing to self-publish. To self-publish is me taking a stand that my story is worth telling based on my standards, sans the "approval" of one of the big Six publishing houses.  You can go back to the safety of your old life. You can go and beg someone somewhere to give you a job selling advertising space again. You can go back to living with your biggest fear being of getting downsized. You can focus soley on your coaching practice. Or you can choose your fear, in my case of  being exposed and dare I say becoming an author with readers willing to pay for what I write.

As I said, I am a professional button pusher who believes you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. So I know what to say to myself and to do to get past this delightful combination of excitement and anxiety. Most days I listen. Some days I am a bad client.

Today I am listening. I asked myself how would it feel if I did literally stop the presses. The answer is awful.  And that is when I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, what I have to do. Pushing the right buttons.

Are you pushing your buttons or is someone else?
Are they the right buttons?


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