Why do we feel that we have to hide our anxiety? Why do we feel that we have to pretend that we are okay all of the time? Why do we feel like we have to keep this a secret, and not share our feelings? People will understand or not, but it is time that we got things out into the open.
I have a secret ‒ I was completely anxious about writing and publishing my book.
Over a year ago, I had what I thought was a great idea for a self-help book. I started working on it, and got a good piece of it written while on an art retreat. I thought that I would publish it in September 2017.
September became October, which became November, and I realized that I was puttering instead of working. I kept finding every reason in the world to avoid the actual writing and concentrating.
This was horrible. A bunch of other projects were on hold until this one got done. I needed it to be checked off of the list so I could move on with other things. What on earth was delaying me? What was holding me up?
I’d been avoiding working on my book because I’m terrified of being judged. And I had been lying to myself about it. I made excuses, I allowed myself to get scatterbrained, and I was not facing the truth.
I had a slew of ideas, but it was nearly impossible to focus and get them down due to the panic.
It is ridiculous, I know. Some people will like the book, and some won’t, and some won’t even care enough to glance. Like every single project I have ever worked on, it is a chance I must take. Everyone who throws their art into the world must risk being judged.
Absolutely everyone has been delighted when I told them the title and concept. Not a single eye roll, or bored tightness around the corners of the mouth. I know my friends will be polite to my face, but still. The initial feedback was amazing.
So I sat down to turn notes into writing. I got started… then everything seized up. My chest got tight and breathing became shallow and I derailed my train of thought. Not every time, but often. Then I was so worried about it happening I became leary of even sitting down to write.
Any tiny thing that could draw my attention away, did. Maybe I should check the weather. Wasn’t I going to do laundry today? Oh! I forgot to exercise. Better do that first. Insanity.
The clock kept ticking and I kept pushing away the deadline. I needed to complete it and move on with my life.
I have a secret ‒ I am an anxiety ridden individual who fights it every day. I have a secret ‒ I am a faker. A liar who pretends she is okay when she clearly isn’t. A lying liar from Lietown, wearing lie shoes and sipping a lie-tini. I have a secret ‒ I am never going to give up. I shall fight this until my dying breath.
Apparently approximately 18% of the North American population have anxiety disorders, to some degree. I’m far from alone. And yet, being this anxious makes us feel terribly alone. There is no proper way to articulate how delicate and upset we get at the slightest trigger.
Throwing my ideas and work and life into the world in such a personal way is gigantic to me. It’s almost as bad as publishing my diary. It makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. But the point of the book is to help other people, so I had to eventually suck it up and get it done. If I help one person, it is worth it.
I finally got all of my proverbial ducks in a row, and made some serious progress with the writing. Then I set New Year’s Day aside to write, and had the stomach flu. As soon as I recovered from that, and caught up on my life a bit, I set aside three days to write. I was suddenly plagued with dizzy spells and air pressure headaches.
I know that people can make themselves sick, but I really don’t think the power of my mind can conjure up flu (certainly not one that bad, yikes). I soldiered on, and finally got the book written. I set aside three days to proofread and edit. I woke up the first morning with a terrible head cold, and was unable to focus. This was getting ridiculous. I took one day off, then powered through it.
I proofread, edited, and fought with stupid bullet points that didn’t want to format correctly. FInally, I acknowledged the fact that there will be a double space and a typo somewhere no matter what I do, and let it go. I published my first self-help book to Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords, where it will be sent out to iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and a slew of other sites.
I have seen the work that other people produce in this world. Some of it is brilliant, and some of it is utter crap. I have great stupid blind faith that mine will at least be in the middle. Maybe that is good enough.
So here it is, my friends and readers, my first self-help book. If you enjoy my site and my writing, hopefully you will like this book. I also hope that perhaps you could find it in your heart to share this link across all social media. The Amazon ranking system is a tricky beast, and the more people who purchase the book in the first 3 days, the more the search algorithm will show it to interested people. If you are not family or a close friend, I also encourage you to post a review ‒ even a super short one.
I hugely appreciate your support, and would love to hear your feedback!
Thanks, and hugs!
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