A while ago I wrote about how I was so frustrated with the waiting for my book to be finished. I know that patience is a virtue but I wasn’t blessed with a lot of patience. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease caused by stress two and a half years ago. It has taken me that long to recover. I have been without income and the confidence that comes with it for a long time. Finally, I want my hard work to come to fruition. I want my suffering to be worth something.
On the other hand, I do like things to be right and it’s important to me to honour my own qualities. I have perfectionistic tendencies that I regularly grapple with. I notice my children getting upset with themselves for making mistakes and I know exactly where that comes from.
I found two mistakes in the printer’s proof, the rough draft of my book. I wrestled with what to do about it. If I did the printer’s proof again, I needed to pay for it and wait another few weeks. I have an impending trip overseas that makes me feel that everything needs to be resolved beforehand. In the end, I decided to proceed with the two errors and just to be content with the book anyway.
Maybe I was trying to send myself a message that mistakes are okay. Or to let my readers know that I am indeed human and fallible but still worth something anyway. My oldest daughter was horrified that I sent the book out into the world with two known errors. I told her that I’m only human and that I make mistakes. It doesn’t make the book bad.
To be honest with myself, I went ahead with the print because I just couldn’t wait for my new life any longer. Now I’m regretting the decision, feeling uncomfortable about the end product’s feel of quality. I’m also wondering how authentic I’ve been in fighting my perfectionism. I’m all about authenticity and I went ahead and published something with mistakes in it. Is that really me?
My publisher is going ahead with creating the eBook and the release is imminent. And all of a sudden, I feel like finding excuses to halt the book going out into the world. Why would that be after all this frustration? I’ve also noticed my hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas) being really tight and shaky during yoga. In looking up their connection with emotions, it relates to a fear of the future. Why would I fear this future that I’ve been so eager to welcome?
Along with my book being released into the world, my personal stories come along for the ride. My childhood experiences, my relationships with my parents, siblings and husband are now being examined by strangers. It’s a scary feeling although I know it’s a necessary part of telling my story. I know that being honest and vulnerable is part of my brand. I feel naked and exposed now that my personal life is about to become public. My worst parenting moments, my failures and mistakes will be read by many, some strangers, some not. I’m not sure which is worse.
But, I do need to make peace with this part of the process. I need to trust that this is the first step in my life as a writer. My genre is non-fiction and I like to share my stories in the hope that they help other people. I can’t be someone I’m not. I can’t pretend to like writing fiction because it’s not true.
Before I had a chance to take a breath, I feel like my destiny is unfolding like a tsunami. There’s no stopping it now. Warts and all, errors or no errors, it’s happening. I have mixed feelings of sheer excitement one moment, and paralyzing fear the next. Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m going on holiday for three weeks. Whatever happens in my absence must simply happen and I’ll be relaxing with my family and waiting to see how the world receives my work.