How strange to find my days filled with plans and preparations for the launch and opening reception to introduce my first published book, The Women of The Rose.
This book has been something I worked on for over a decade and during the past two years it has meant a daily commitment of time and energy. Introducing it to the world should be a natural ‘next step,’ but nothing about this time feels natural. In fact I’m terrified and would do most anything to avoid it. People keep telling me that a launch and book signing event is sort of expected, maybe even required, but good heavens will my tummy ever stop doing somersaults?
It’s been difficult enough trying to assimilate the fact that the book is finished. No longer is it a ‘goal’ in my long list of annual goals to be accomplished. It was easier to be looking forward to this time than to be actually experiencing it. I no longer talk about that time when ‘someday I will write the book,’ or imagine my first book signing.
That someday is now.
It isn’t easy to admit I am having opening day jitters. Max, my creative editor, assured me most first time authors feel this way and even some second and third time authors. Great, does that mean I’ll always feel this anxious?
I could not believe I found myself actually dreading the Reception and thinking about the moment when I stand before a crowd and introduce the book for the first time. I guess I’m supposed to read from it or say something like say: “Here is my work, my dream.” What I want to say is “This book is such a big part of me, please be gentle with us both.”
When this anxiousness took on some very real physical symptoms-- a breakout of shingles, weeks of sleepless nights, tummy in a constant uproar--I sought help. Admitting my worries to my closest friends and hearing their responses helped a bunch.
My walking buddy, MaryCarol, drove across town and dragged me out for a super long walk. The next two hours were filled with the kind of talk that can only come from someone who has heard it all during hundreds of morning walks. Then, I reached out to Suzan, the psychotherapist who helped me through the worst year of The Rose’s life, and an hour with her cleared up some more of the angst.
In the end, I trust that I will look back on this time and laugh at myself for experiencing these anxious moments. In the end, the tasks of creating the invitations and finalizing the guest list and submitting the news releases and finding the perfect pen to be used at the book signing will all be behind me. Tasks that seem so overwhelming right now will be done and I’ll be smack dab in the middle of experiencing a ‘once in a lifetime’ event. It will be here before I know it and, as with most of those special life events, it will be over way too quickly.
On October 15, I’ll be sharing a milestone in my life, seeing a true dream come true, with the world. Thank goodness that world involves a lot of good friends and an amazing Fan Club of One, my first best friend Patrick.