Eff you Fear
I walked up to my friend, someone who had been to my home, listened to me talk, read my first book, and in a meek voice I asked "Will you read this book I want to self-publish," I quickly added "I wrote it seven years ago, it's aYA, please remember it's my first book ever, it's like ok but probably not great, I'm not sure how original it is..."
She stopped me mid-sentence and said "I'm going to send you something that you need to watch," and she proceeded to send me a link to a youtube video.
It was a Brene Brown talk. I like Brene Brown, I like her message, I'd watched some talks, but I put off watching it the day she sent it. I proceeded to send her the file of my book with another disclaimer "apparently I wrote this before author-correct AND spell-check." I put out a call to artists for the cover and when one responded I asked her to read the book "and not to critique me or make suggestions and to please remember I wrote it a long time ago and it is a very rough draft."
Then I woke up Sunday morning, the kids were at my moms, Rey was working on his paper and I thought I have 20 minutes, I can listen to this talk.
Two minutes in I was tearing up and eight minutes in I had to pause the video and get tissues, I was in full-blown crying mode. In the talk, Brene speaks about our critics. Those people who say everything we think in our heads out loud or at least type in a forum on some obscure website that we always seem to find. She was talking to me... she was addressing me and all the fears I have when it comes to releasing my books, public speaking, forging a new career from what I want to do instead of what I have to do.
I thought back to every time I had talked about my writing and realized I was ALWAYS addressing my cities, even when I didn't have to. As a creator our critics are the people who stop us. They put a halt on everything we do. As a writer I live or die by reviews and while most have been kind I also realize that most have been by my friends, not the people I fear. But I even have one 3-star review by someone I thought would be more supportive... It's devastating to think that what you love to do you can't do because you just aren't good enough.
Getting past that fear is hard, it can debilitate me. The "gremlins" in my head can make or break me. I'm not sure people always understand how that feels though I do believe everyone has these little gremlins. Sometimes I think that people usually deal with the cute furry one, the one that gets a little cranky when it's hungry, but me? I'm always in full blow, ate after midnight and had water dripped on it, gremlin mode.
I know that regardless of my fear, regardless of the lack of support from people I thought were friends... or at least kind acquaintances, I just need to do what I do and that is create and put it out there. The critics will squeal from their cheap seats and my support team will cheer from their front row orchestra seats. And regardless of what happens, I will know when I die that I tried, I wasn't afraid to get into the arena, that I told fear to fuck off and I showed up... thats all that really matters anyway, right?!
Peace and love!
Oh and watch it if you have time!