Facing My Inner Shadow

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

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A writer wants to get their stories out there so others can read them. A large part of being a writer is letting people read your work. Whether it’s a friend or family member, a critique group, or blog followers, eventually, people will read a writer’s work.

And just like that, the aforementioned writer is out there, vulnerable, to the opinions of whoever bothers to comment on their work. The writer I’m talking about is me.

As of today, my first book is out there in the universe, and that terrifies me.

I knew that publishing my book meant opening myself up to others, the kind and the not so kind. But knowing something beforehand doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. People can be nasty and cruel, and my skin isn’t as thick as it should be if I’m going to be a writer. Maybe that will come in time.

I also knew before publishing my book that it’s impossible to please everybody. Of course, some people will like my book and some won’t. People have different tastes and like different things. People are walking the earth who don’t like Pride and Prejudice, for goodness sake! If there are some who don’t appreciate the work of one of the most prolific and groundbreaking authors ever, then what hope do I have?

And here’s the thing: it’s okay if there are people who don’t like my work. In the case of this book, I wrote it for me. Well, me and my dog, Max. Last year, as a small puppy and our newest family member, he inspired the book. It’s nothing life-changing, it’s just a sweet story about a precocious puppy accomplishing his bucket list.

I wrote what was in my heart. As a writer, that’s all I can do.

The book should have been published months ago. Maybe it would have been if I could have gotten out of my own way. I was too scared to publish the book, afraid of what others would think of it. I can’t control the thoughts, words, or actions of other people. I can only control my own thoughts, words, and actions.

So, with this post and with the release of the book, I officially face my inner shadow. I have now accomplished a life dream by not only writing this book but also by publishing it. No matter what happens with the book, I am proud of me!

I will not try to make others like my work, and I won’t even defend it. What I will do is keep writing the stories that are in my heart.

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