Well, it’s done. I’ve published a book. It has been a whirlwind sprint (an officially recognized sport in the Tornado Alley Olympics) to get the book up and out the door this week, but now I have a chance to sit back and bask in the warm amber glow of a dream accomplished. Then why, you may ask, am I sitting in the dark, terrified?
It’s because I make things.
It’s a funny feeling to make something and send it out there for the world to scrutinize, possibly to praise and possibly to belittle. Probably both. Although this is my first book, it’s not my first time making something or feeling this impending panic. Even though there is a part of me that screams into the darkness, “Screw you all; this book is awesome!” (and it is awesome), there’s still another part of me peeking up from underneath the blankets of my psyche, waiting anxiously for the first person to express distaste, possibly even disdain for my writing. Eep!
And that, in a nutshell, is what it’s like to be a creator.
The thing is, negative sentiments are inevitable. This is the Internet we’re talking about, after all. Even if I created a gold-plated donut that could cure cancer and eradicate world hunger (it would be a Maple Bar, naturally), someone in the comments section would say, “This is terrible, and you are a horrible person,” though probably with much more profanity, an anecdote about my mother’s appearance, and a scathing LOLcat.
But that’s okay. That’s what it takes to make things. And I make things. At some point you have to release it into the world, and let the right people find it (or is it the other way around?). One thing’s for sure: Just because the book is live, this journey isn’t over. This is a grand adventure that isn’t even close to reaching an end. There’s plenty more on the schedule, promotions to run, interviews to do, people to cajole, and another book to write. This means there are plenty more opportunities to be hurt, and more opportunities to succeed.
Ultimately, the drive to create must overpower the fear, and thankfully that’s still the mindset I find myself in. So as I lie awake in the dark, fretting over the latest review, I remind myself that it doesn’t matter whether or not people care. Because I make things. The next thing I make will be better than the last, and the next after that even better.
So buy my book, or don’t. Love it, or don’t. But know this: The adventure is just beginning, and there will be more to see from me.
Because I make things.