We’ve all been there.
You are about to release your book to the public, but instead of pure pleasure, you detect a familiar anxiousness—as if you’re a 3rd grader delivering a speech to squirming classmates. Writing is intensely personal. Exposing your words, thoughts, and life experiences in this in this public forum feels a little like a game of king-of-the-hill.
No doubt about it, first time can be scary. Will they boo or throw rotten tomatoes? We love having the approval of others for what we’ve written. Many of us relate to Sally Field’s 1984 Oscar acceptance speech, when she said: “They like me, they really like me!”
Maria Tomas Keegan experienced this phenomenon herself. Right before the release of her book entitled: Upside Down to Right Side up: Turning Transition into Triumph, (which, by the way, is an amazing book) she said, “I”m both excited and terrified” when she thinks about the publication of her book.
Let’s face this apprehension with logic:
If you were nervous to write, but did it anyway you get a point for courage. If you’ve written about what you are passionate about, you get a point for expressing yourself. Did you write with the intention to benefit others? Yes, add another point for using your voice to make the world better. So with three points in your back pocket, you have every right to relax just a little more.
Here are four suggestions to make your early publishing attempts less frightening:
- Begin small. Write a blog post first, rather than a whole book.
- Ask a few honest friends to read what you’ve written, and get specific feedback. Tell them that each suggestion will help you.
- Rename the fear you feel. See it as proof that you are alive and excited to take a risk—like a thoroughbred before a race.
- Work with me at Whalen Voices for professional guidance—that’s a part of being a book shepherd, and it’s the part I love the best.
Mistakes happen, yet they’re not fatal. Lock the spooks in the trunk, correct the correctable, and move on. Your second and third books can not be written until the first one comes out. Your voice needs to be heard above the BOOOO!