A Leap of Faith
Contributor
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011
Contributor
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011

 

I easily recall the initial struggle that I experienced as I shored up mentally and emotionally to undertake the immense task of publishing my first novel. I am sure in this regard I am not too unlike most writers when they begin such an enterprise. Trying to embark on such a large project was intimidating to say the least, especially if one was resolute yet clueless in the attempt, as was I. Publishing my book was something I had to do, so this made it all the more daunting. So having only faint notions of how and where to start only added pressure to my own personal dare. Whether I could actually put my own book out there in the universe for anyone to critique seemed akin to bearing my soul, and I guess in a way it was. My hope was to pull off an acceptable and entertaining novel; that would please me no end. The possibility of writing a tome that would keep people up at night burning the midnight oil? Well, maybe that fits better under the fantasy genre. But maybe not, and hey, I can dream, can’t I?

 

So, you lurch about in the dark until you get your bearing, flesh out a game plan to give your thoughts more structure, come up with a sort of marketing plan, do lots of research online, network. Do you self publish, attempt to secure an agent, send something straight to a publisher? What about an editor, or finding a publicist; should you try to pull it off on your own? I recall countless trips to the kitchen the first few times I approached this mission, getting up to heat my tea yet again, spending more than my usual time flossing my teeth, oh yeah, and don’t I need to phone my mother before it gets too late? Weak attempts to distract myself, to put off the inevitable. That is, the fact that I had to stop screwing around and get down to figuring out how to publish the damn thing, put my nose the grindstone, see what I could churn up. Or was I being too self-protective, fearful of finding out that maybe I wasn’t made of the stuff that could produce smiles or tears upon turning a page? My ego would surely be deflated, or worse, my dream shattered. At times my evasion was more like an act of self sabotage in disguise, like when I accidentally tipped too much wine into my glass…oh well, gosh darn, there’s always tomorrow. Yes, I’ll deal with it then.

 

So doubt and denial come in all forms…this I soon discovered with all my internal game playing. Why at times like this is it so easy to push the good ole’ low self-esteem button? Who was I to think that I could publish a book, one that I wanted friends, family, strangers to read? Blah, blah, blah…the negativity wheels kept on spinning. Then an idea popped into my hesitant, heartfelt head. Well, who was I to think that I couldn’t??  No one ever popped out of their mother’s womb with a silver pen in their hands, whipping out the next great American novel. Every individual started at ground zero…every writer who published started not knowing what the heck they were doing...every person, no matter how practiced, spent moments questioning their work, their intellect, their capabilities. So, I pondered these facts for a while, then decided to publish the book in spite of myself, but mostly for myself, to be secure in the belief that I will always keep dancing, as they say, like no one is watching (or in my case, keep putting my work out there like no one is judging.) This is my promise to myself, and one I plan on keeping.


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