“Do you ever have those days where your heart just feels glow-y and warm because you have good people in your life and a supportive bunch behind you (even people you have never met?!) I’m having one of those super-feels days. Thanks so much for helping me with stuff, guys.” – Actual update from my Facebook today
Do you know what? I have been feeling a bit freaked out because my book was coming out. I’ve been feeling panicked, in fact. It’s like some sneaky, quite serious and in fact, debilitating book-related anxiety snuck its way into most corners of my life. Ugh. I didn’t really realise it until today, when I got to talk about my book in detail for the first time.
The thing is, I loved writing this book and it’s really special to me. I love the process of making books so much and while the book’s birth is wonderful, it’s the chance to say stuff that makes sense to other people who means the most to me.
So. I’ve only just today realised I’ve been feeling really weird about it finally being out there in the world. I’ve been holding my breath and feeling the pressure of coming under scrutiny creeping closer and closer. It’s been a real weight on my shoulders/brain. It’s part the idea of my work being exposed to everyone and it’s part me being exposed to everyone that has me wigging out. But of course that’s totally silly. It’s not everyone, is it? It’s just the people who are buying or reading my book. And it doesn’t really matter if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, either. Not everything can be and that’s okay.
Last night I lay in bed after a pretty weird day, I read my finished, bound book from beginning to end for the first time. (I’d read it lots of times before, but it was just under a year ago.This was the first time I’d read the ready-for-readers, embossed title, hard-cover edition).
It was pretty funny to be tucking into something I’d written myself. I kept yelling out to the kids (in an insecure, maniacal manner) – “I’m in bed reading my book! My book that is actually my book! Because I wrote it! I’m doing that! It’s quite funny in parts!’
I nodded my way through, laughed at my own jokes like an idiot and shut the final page with a snap, feeling that I’d done the best I could do.
Today, as I was talking about my book to Steve and Alicia and Declan on the radio, I felt pretty proud because (granted they are a VERY kind audience) they understood the tone and message exactly. Not only that, I have some pretty important things to say and I’m so happy that I’m getting a chance to say them in my own way. I feel really strongly about the stuff that’s special to me.
As I was riding home on the tram, with my book tucked in my bag, watching the hard rubbish on Nicholson Street whizzing by, I felt really blooming satisfied and lucky and happy with myself. For the first time in the whole book process I felt like I’d achieved what I set out to do.
I’d done my best work.
This afternoon I’m pretty overwhelmed with the fact that everything is okay. I’m feeling less of a panic-stricken, anxiety ridden naked person and instead, I feel a lot like this:
“Do you ever have those days where your heart just feels glow-y and warm because you have good people in your life and a supportive bunch behind you (even people you have never met?!) I’m having one of those super-feels days. Thanks so much for helping me with stuff, guys.”
PS: I’m telling you this in case you ever feel this way too. There’s safety in numbers! Maybe you’ve felt like this before?