As I type these words, my fingers are tingling and my palms are sweating. I've had these symptoms before. A lot recently.
Why the sweaty tingles? Good question. And you, my friends, deserve an answer. So do I. Truth be told, I've had this tingly/sweaty thing on and off for a while now. And it's finally occurring to me that it's not the copious amounts of Pike Place Roast that I pump through my veins at all hours of the day. No.
Maybe it's the compelling chaos that is my current life. The juggling act at which I am continually failing. Balls are falling all over the place. Maybe it is the looming deadlines for LIFE AFTER YES? I am supposed to be writing reading group questions and an author essay. My publisher needs these things from me. Now. And I cannot bring myself to do these things. Maybe this is why the fingers are tingling and sweating. Could be.
I think I might be on to something here. But it's not a simple matter of having things to do and not doing them. It's the resistance. There is a reason I am not doing these things, writing these questions and this essay. I am not doing these things because these are the last things I have to do to complete my book. And maybe if I don't do these things, there will not be a book.
Bear with me. I'm not crazy. Just suffering a moment of debilitating, crippling honesty.
I have decided that if I am going to stand up a blog about being honest in this world of ours that seemingly spins on an axis of BS, I should be honest. With you. More importantly, with me.
I am thrilled.
I am petrified.
I am both of these things at the very same time. As I type these words, I am literally living my dream. On the day I left the law firm, I penned that required departure memo to my colleagues announcing that I would be leaving. In that memo, I wrote these very words, "I am leaving to chase a persistent dream." I wrote those words. And I meant them.
Those words, simple and true to me, ostensibly cryptic to most everyone else, said it all. I was walking away from prestige and a paycheck to chase a dream. My dream to write. And, here I am, writing. At 10:55pm when I should be snoozing. But should doesn't have much currency when it comes up against must. So here I am. Writing. Writing words which matter. To me. And maybe, in some small way, to you.
And there is a book. The book. The story. The story of which I am maternally proud and protective. I took my time with this story. I butchered it and put it back together again. Off and on, between the pressing business of bellies and boobs and babies, for four years, I wrestled with my characters. I followed their lead. I had dreams about these characters. I still do.
And now. This story will no longer be just mine. It will no longer be that thing about which I am admittedly sheepish and a bit shy. In a matter of months, it will be yours too. It will be out there. Stacked on shelves. Flipped through. It will be read. It will be loved and liked and hated. It will no longer be just mine.
But this is what I wanted, right? Yes! I think so. Maybe. Of course. I don't know. Of course. Of course this is what I want. I want to write books and I want people to read them. I want to teach and inspire and entertain. Of course. I wrote a book. I found an agent. I found a publisher. I have a deal. There will be a book. These are all of the reasons why I should shut up. Now. Before you boycott my unabashedly egotistical blog. This post shouldn't exist.
But it does. You're reading it now. And I'll probably regret it later.
I am supposed to be strong. I am supposed to be proud. I am supposed to be cautiously optimistic. I am supposed to cross my fingers. I am supposed to do these things. And I will. Some of the time. But I can't all of the time. Because that would be fake.
I am petrified. That the book will be a disastrous failure. That the book will be a huge success. I am petrified of it all.
But I am also thrilled. That here I am being me. Not an impostor lawyer. Not a meticulous mother. Not a blue ribbon wife. Me. Doing something that I love. Doing something that I must do. Doing something that I care about so much and so deeply, it makes my fingers tingle and my palms sweat. I am thrilled to be chasing.
But I am also petrified.