Last week, I had a minor panic attack about the whole publishing business.
As I get closer to sending "my baby" out into the big world of publishing, the reality hits me.
This is it! This is where the rubber meets the road (I sound like my dad!). This is where everything I've done the last few years, the sacrifices I have made, the ones my family have made comes down to this moment in time.
The prospect of getting published someday suddenly freaks me out!
For the past 5 years, I've dreamed of writing a kick-butt book, getting an agent, going out on submission. I've dreamed of agents fighting over me, editors wanting my book. Authors wishing to blurb. I even dreamed of going to auction. Dreamed of finally making some money off my writing.
I've dreamed of becoming a published author.
It was nothing but hope that got me to where I am today.
Now, there is no going back. No do-over's. No more room for dreaming.
My dream either "will or will not" become my true reality. How that happens remains to be seen.
But the reality is - sometimes it does and then sometimes it doesn't. You never know.
This business is finicky and no matter how great your writing is or your idea, sometimes your dream flies and sometimes it floats around, sometimes it hits the dirt.
That is the reality.
My problem? Reality is not an option for me. Never has been. I dream big. And I dont' give up those dreams for a dumb thing called "reality".
I've resorted to doing Bikram Yoga to get the weight off my chest. The heavy one that makes me feel as if I cannot breathe. The one that comes from excitement mixed with anxiety mixed with fear.
This has happened to me throughout my journey. I got this same way when I was looking for an agent. I got to a point where I could not sleep, could not stop checking my statcounter or email, could not write. And I could not breath.
I got so attached to the outcome. I eventually said out loud one day, "It doesn't matter what happens. I will write no matter what anyway. I need to just let go of my attachment to the result and enjoy the journey."
Because you know what? The journey is fun...if you let go of stressing about the end result. There is no end result. There are just milestones.
Well let me tell you that "feeling" doesn't go away after you finish a book or even get an agent. That feeling is a shapeshifter and it somehow comes back to you in a different form. It comes back in disguise. And it took me a while to realize it.
My friend asked me the other day - "So writing makes you so anxious, why do it?"
I said, "It doesn't make me anxious until I think about the publishing side of it."
She simply said, "Then don't think about that."
And it dawned on me. She's right. Why am I hanging on so tightly to being published. As if it ends there?
I have to let that go. I have to have faith and enjoy the process. Because - let me tell you - so far the process itself has been fun. Hard. But FUN. As long as I release my focus on an end result or unrealistic expectations - I am so happy and calm.
Yesterday, with a friend ) I pull a Tarot card from my Angel deck someone gave me when I got an agent (for my angel book).
(I dont live by these things, but I do think it's fun to believe in that stuff - dreams, tarot cards, numerology, astrology readings, signs from the universe ect. You name it. Anything that can possibly give me any additional insight into my future or path, is welcome. please don't unfollow me for this!!! :)
Guess what card I got (out of like 100 cards).
Release and Surrender.
Here is what it said:
"Open your arms and release the challenges that you've held so tightly within your hands. Open your hands, arms, mind and heart to assistance. You have been trying to control a situation in your life. You must emotionally let go and have faith that a higher power can do a better job. Surrendering does not mean you are giving up, it just assures you of happiness and a better outcome. Don't worry about how your question will be answered. Release the need for control and trust all will work out."
It's so true. We hold on so tightly to outcomes that we freak ourselves out along the way.
I let go during the writing process and wrote a godo book. I let go during the agent process and and got an amazing agent. I let go during my revisions process and my book evolved.
Now, I am going to do it again.
I am letting go of expectations, fame, fortune, and my tight attachment to outcomes and results. I am going back to enjoying the process.
Because the truth is - when I focus on the writing and how I feel when I am doing it. My heart is full and I am elated. The minute I take myself out of the journey to try and see, predict or guess what the future holds or where I will be, I feel as if a weight drops from the sky and lands on my chest.
So today, I release and surrender.