Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No. 5 - Face a Fear

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 5 is all about being not letting fear get in the way of your dreams!

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One morning, months ago, I woke up inspired!  I had a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) for a children's book. 

Writing a children's picture book has been a dream of mine for the last 20 years, but I always thought that it was just something I would dream of, but never do.  I have even started writing many stories from time to time, only to get discouraged, or sidetracked and would give up.

But this time, I was so inspired that I got out my computer and began to weave my words with thoughts.  Writing felt wonderful and I became very attached to each sentence.  So the thought of letting another person read it, even my husband, brought slight pangs of fear.  Inspite of that fear, I shared my first draft with my husband and he liked it, but had a few ideas about how I could change it.  I went back and made some changes and reworked parts.  Many drafts later, I got braver and shared it with my parents.  They too liked it, and also had a few suggestions.  More shaping, tweeking, and editing.

But, I knew that soon, I would have to get feedback from folks outside of my family, if I wanted to move forward with my book.  The thought of doing so scared the *beep* out of me!  It was amazing, to me, how vulnerable I felt.  What if they don't like it? What if they don't understand it? What if they laugh? What if they think I am crazy for thinking that I could author a children's book?  But, again, I persisted and asked a few friends, who have a relavent background, to look it over.  Again, I got feedback, and made some more edits.  It was not as hard as I had expected!

Meanwhile, I had been researching the world of children book publishers and found a small relatively-new publisher that I thought would be a perfect fit for my genre of book.  Furthermore, this publisher had changed their policy (the very week I inquired) and were now accepting unsolicited manuscripts submissions for children's picture books.  It felt like the stars were aligned, and that the Universe was telling me to submit my book.  That thought - the simple thought - that, maybe, I should send off my story to a publisher filled me with fear! 

I told myself that it was crazy to even consider sending off my manuscript so soon!
I told myself that I couldn't handle it if they rejected it!  
I told myself that publishing this book was just a pipe-dream and that I should give it up!
And then I told myself to FACE MY FEARS!

So I did.  I made my final edits, formated it to their requirements and in a click, I sent it off to the publisher.  At that moment, I bubbled over with fear, hope, and giddiness.  I grabbed the giddiness and hope, held it close, and did a little happy dance all around my house.  
It felt awesome! 

I would love to tell you that the publisher was thrilled with my book and immediately offered me a contract to publish. 

But, alas, that is not what happened.  A few weeks later I received a very nice email, which included suggestions for improvements, but also explained why they were not interested in my manuscript.  I was very disappointed!  And, yes, I shed a few tears.  The rejection was hard to receive. 

But, it was nowhere near as hard as I had feared!  

Recently, I was given advice to "not stop before the miracle" (Thank you Debbie Phillips)  So, now I move forward. This one rejection will not stop me.  My book is a work in progress and how it will come to be, I do not know.  But what I do know is that one day it will be shared with the world!

What fear did you face?
What did you gain from that experience?

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