In a few days time, I’ll press the ‘Publish’ button and my first novel will go out into the world and appear in Amazon, Kobo and other retailers. This is a weird and scary thing.
I’ve dreamt of becoming a published novelist since I was a kid. Although I’ve always written stories in my spare time, it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I decided to find out if I could actually write a novel and get it published. Now, several years after those first serious efforts began, I’m on the edge of making this dream come true.
The strange thing is how many mixed feelings I have about this. I’m so excited to see my book appear in the online stores. But it comes with a lot of fear, too. While my manuscript existed only on my hard drive, it was nice and safe. But once it’s published, it belongs to anyone who decides to buy it and read it. What if people hate my book? What if it gets terrible reviews? What if I fail?
Believe me, I know that all sounds a bit depressing for the first blog post from an author who claims on her byline that she writes ‘fun feel-good fiction’. But, as my byline also says, I write that fiction ‘from the heart’. Every word in my novel The Perfect Moment is heart-felt, and the characters wrestle with a lot of the same challenges that I’ve wrestled with – how to make big changes in your life, how to be brave, and how to do something that scares you.
Writing the story of Laura and Bruce helped me to be brave and push on, even when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I poured my heart into my story, which is what makes putting it out into the world so scary. But the story is also about realizing that there is never a perfect moment to do anything in life. It took writing the book for me to realise this.
Ray Bradbury said you have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down. I’ve always loved that quote. Right now, that’s what it feels like I’m about to do.
Just as soon as I pluck up a little more courage to shuffle closer to the edge ...