You guys, thank you so much for your excitement about my book. It means so much more than you even know. People say that I know, but I really mean it. It's terrifying to put something into the public that you worked so hard on. And I kind of want to talk about that, because it's something that I've thought extensively about since I started writing and decided to seek publication for Star of Deliverance.
I studied English in college. A lot of my friends and family members are what you might call book snobs. We love good literature. Not just the classics, but Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver and Charles Frazier and the other modern greats. Many times as I was writing, I would imagine one of these friends cringing at something I wrote. Star isn't necessarily high brow. In fact, I wrote it with my 12 year old sister Callie in mind. She is a miniature me, and I wrote the book I would have loved to read as my 12, or 16, or 18 year old self.
But if I'm being completely honest, I also wrote the book my current 25 year old self would love to read. I'm into books that are fun and thrilling as much as I am into the "good" literature. I like to get lost in a story. I like stories that make me want to be brave. I like romance and kissing. There. I said it.
I read Brene Brown's Daring Greatly right before I decided to submit Star for publication. I was on the fence, to be honest. Part of me was feeling like I just wrote it as a practice novel for books that would follow. "I learned how to write a novel," I kept telling myself and family members when they asked what was next. It was too vulnerable to wholly own this story. But she says in her book, and I'll never forget this,
I was terrified, but for all of the wrong reasons. I love my story. I love my characters. And I knew that while I would inevitably have those who rate it poorly on Amazon, or discuss it negatively behind my back, there would also be those who shared it with their friends, read it over and over, and gleaned some of their own courage from reading it.
I wanted to connect. I wanted to stop being afraid.
So for those of you who are afraid to show your true self, are afraid to share your art, your talents with the world, are afraid of connecting with others in a public way, let me say that I understand. But don't let yourself live in fear. Because it's scary - so scary to put yourself out there. But the alternative is even worse.