What are You Hiding?

drawing by Jamie Lee

It’s harder than I thought it would be—publishing one book a month for twelve months.  I am not writing these books—they are manuscripts that have been lost in the digital space of my computer.  I have only needed to bring them out, proof them, lay them out and assign a cover, but wow . . .

The first two, One Drum and Silver, are done, but they required that I confront and face parts of myself that I would rather have kept hidden.  For instance:

Self-doubt:  Is anybody really going to read these books?  Are they good enough?  Are they stupid?  Should I dump them?

Laziness:  Do I really have to proof each sentence, each page?  I suck at punctuation—can’t I just send them out as is?  (The answer is yes—you really have to proof them.)

Fear:  Is this cover okay?  Will the pros look at it and say, OMG who does this person think she is?  Couldn’t she have just spent $10,000 to get it designed?  (The answer is no, I can’t spend that money.)

Anger:  Why has mainstream publishing never picked up one of my books?   I’ve had two literary agents but they got nowhere . . . what?

Ego:  These stories are not “MINE” but given to me in sweet gentle packages from the Creator.  I don’t “own” them.

Apathy and lack of belief:  Why bother?  Nothing ever changes and it will not ever change so why bother?

Vulnerability:  What if people hate them and think I am a silly, foolish person for ever having thought I could write.

Sometimes I feel like I am moving through mud, but I am just doing it anyway.

And here is the weird part.  In reading and proofing the first two books, I didn’t change a single word except a few typos.  In fact, both books touched my heart—even made me tear up a couple times.  They have heart energy for sure, and that will just have to be “good enough.”

The day that I got the proof copy from the printer of Silver,  I held that pretty little book in my hand and realized that it was all worth it—worth having to battle a few demons, worth the time it took . . . just plain worth it to finally hold my baby.

I’m realizing that for any of us going to the next level is going to require great courage.  It is going to push us out of our comfort zone and onto some unfamiliar (and often scary) ground.  The alternative is to just stay put—do nothing, change nothing, take no risks—and that doesn’t seem like much of an alternative at all.

Wow.  And I’m just getting started.  Ten books to go.

So, I want to challenge you to join me by challenging yourself.  What are you hiding?  What is that creative expression of yourself that you have been saying you didn’t have time for, was not good enough, or was not worthy?  What is that thing you’ve been reluctant to pursue but not for lack of passion or interest?  What could you do to take a risk and begin now to make something out of nothing?

I’ll give you a little view into both One Drum and Silver.  Both of these books I am making a part of a series called, “Earth Songs” because both engage deeply with the natural world in sometimes supernatural ways.  They ask us to listen deeply to our mother, the earth and to steer a course in her direction.  Yes, they are fiction.  And yes, they are love stories.  And yes, I hope that when I announce that they are for sale you’ll give them both a read.

But be gentle with me.  If you love them, buy copies for your local school or library.  If you dislike them, keep it to yourself—or tell me gently what you didn’t like.  It is never too late for a rewrite.

Onward to the next book . . . do share this with your friends and invite them to subscribe.

 

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Comments

What are You Hiding? — 5 Comments

  1. Oh my, do I ever relate. I am in the middle of publishing my second book about a year and a half after the first. Instead of excitement, I have been filled with self-doubt and anxiety. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve caught myself saying “I must be nuts.” Than you for sharing this. You continue to be an inspiration to me.

  2. Thank you, Jamie. Gentle, gentle is the way you have always supported me – with enthusiasm and a gentle kick in rear, too. I’m asked to do readings and book signing with another writer on Sunday for two hours! at our local Black Hills Books and Treasures and I’m terrified, not good enough, foolish, arrogant, blah blah blah. Thanks for the window into your heart and your fears. It gives me courage!

  3. I heard a comment once at Chrysalis Women’s retreat that has resonated with me many times–I am good.(period) Enough.(period)
    This is true in writing as well as everyday life. It is good. Enough.
    You are such a blessing to all of us, and your questions are so thought provoking, that they turn me around and I see something new and exciting in myself and the world.

    • Hi Lola,

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It may take me a bit but I read and relish every reply. Chrysalis is such a special retreat. I had a wonderful time with wonderful women. And yes, I am good. Enough. Thanks for that.

      Jamie

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