I’m releasing “Table for Six” as an e-book this month. Soon it will be available for public consumption on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (via the ever-so-awkwardly named, PubIt!). Anyone with an e-reader will have access to my words, my family, my stories. And the closer the release date gets, the more I drag my feet. I have edits to incorporate, comma splices to fix, repetitive adjectives to purge. But I find myself burying my brain in other people’s books instead. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve finished five. My rationale is that I can’t be a good writer unless I’m a good reader.
Chris says I’m afraid of success.
I’ve always been one to over-think and second-guess. Is the subject matter interesting? Are the sentences well-formed? Am I revealing too much? Is the format correct? Would it have been better if I’d written it as a narrative? Will anyone want to read it? Does it suck?
As much as I’d like to say that I don’t care what others think… I still do. Deep in a tiny little corner of my heart, I still have a sliver of that 10-year-old girl who wants to be accepted, to be approved of, to be loved unconditionally. She’s a much smaller piece of who I am, but she’s still there. The other 99% of me doesn’t give two shits about what people think. But at times of great vulnerability, 10-year-old Trina’s apprehensions hold far more power over me than I’d like them to.
And of course, it’s easy to busy myself — thus ignoring my writing deadlines — with the day-to-day craziness of our lives. We’ve got a house on the market (seriously, who knew how much dog hair resided in this humble abode?), two kids playing basketball, two kids playing lacrosse, one kid playing volleyball, two dogs eating poop out of the back yard. I’ve got a husband who’s finishing his dissertation and sending his curriculum vitae out across the country. I’ve got a Mom to visit, a great-niece to cuddle, friends to lunch with, a frog to feed, and a guinea pig cage to clean. I’ve got toilets to scrub, damn it! Sometimes there is no time to write.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
The whole social media aspect of publication paralyzes me. Tweeting, Facebooking, website-ing, linking it all together, keeping it all up to date… it’s overwhelming.
Psh, Chris says. You’re just afraid of success.
And I’m afraid he might be right.
In the back of my head, I continue to hear Jenny say, “Fear is paralyzing and weak and serves no purpose. I will walk with you on every emotion but fear.” Wise words, indeed. I don’t want to be a scaredy-cat. Well, I’ll always be afraid of scary movies. I think that’s just part of who I am. And Chris really doesn’t want to walk me to the restroom in the middle of the night for the rest of my life, so I’m going to continue to avoid flicks with titles like “Saw” and “The Exorcist” and “The Ring” and “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.
I’m forging ahead. But I have to admit there’s still a little pit of something in the center of my belly. (And it’s definitely not a carb — because I’m back on South Beach Phase One.)
Is it fear of success? Failure? That horrifying Brad Pitt movie, “Seven”? All of the above?
I guess it doesn’t really need to be identified – just ignored. As Sam would advise, “Suck it up, Cupcake.”