As a kid, the moment I finished a story I hurried to Mom or the nearest teacher so they could read it.
As an adolescent and adult, I was stingier with my writing than Gollum was with his ring. (Minus hissing “My precioussss.”)
When I was in grade school, I was confident parents and teachers thought everything I wrote was cute. I ran to the adults to get the obligatory pat on the head, then went my merry way feeling like I just earned a million dollars.
But as I got older and my writing started to feel more serious, ambitious, or exploratory, the worry set in, “What if they hate it?”
(“They” meaning pretty much everyone in the world.)
Writing stems from a personal part of ourselves. It’s daunting to open ourselves to scrutiny when we share that work.
For years, I have shared writing sparingly, hoarding projects that I didn’t deem polished enough for public eyes. Every so often I would pass a chapter here or an idea there to my husband or a member of my writing group. Otherwise, I would write and rewrite and delete and start over and edit and reread …
Honestly, it’s a wonder I ever finish writing anything.
As the release date for SARAH & KATY AND THE IMAGINATION BLANKETS inches closer, those old butterflies are stirring again in my stomach. The excitement of launching my first book is coupled with the cautious hope of the story being well-received (and the nervousness that it won’t be).
At the end of the day, I keep taking a deep breath and reminding myself I really need only two fans: the two grade schoolers for whom the book was written. The story started off as a Christmas gift for my nieces, so as long as they like it, I achieved the original goal.
Lucky for me, those two grade schoolers tend to be easy to please with Christmas gifts.