If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You…

I, like many others, am addicted to Pinterest. This image has been doing the rounds. And until mid-April, I read it and passed it over like many other images. But in mid-April, something amazing happened. My dream came true! See, as I outlined in an earlier post, my entire life I’ve been trying to write (well since I was 5 y/o anyway) and most of my adult life I’ve been trying to get published. I’m 29 years old now… ok 43, but who’s counting, and this spring I was offered my first book deal. I burst into tears, screamed, ran to my husband, and jumped into his arms…. Then I went through the stages of grief, except in opposite mode. The stages of joy? I was in denial. I kept waiting for someone to say there had been a mistake or it was a joke, it was April after all. I was in shock.

Then I was thrilled and for the first week or so after I got the news, I’d randomly burst into tears.

Then I fretted over the contract. Should I try to get another agent or publisher interested? Should I try to change things in it? Should I just sign it before they change their mind? In all of my writing courses, workshops and group meetings, we’d learned how to plot, how to write strong characters, how to write query letters, an effective synopsis and all of that. But we’d never talked about how to negotiate a contract, and I’d never seen one!

Then joy! Like it happened all over again. The contract was signed, I had a cover info sheet to work on, an editor to meet, paperwork to do, other authors from Crescent Moon Press to “meet” online.

And all of that led to acceptance. The stages of joy.

Yet now I’m left working through edits, still totally psyched and thrilled, but another stage is setting in. Fear. So I look at that Pinterest graphic now and I get it.

I’m frightened to death. The bliss of “OMG my book is getting published!!!” has changed to the sheer terror of “OMG my book is getting published!” People are going to read it. People who aren’t my bff’s or my parents or my brother and sister. Strangers will read it. What if I get all 1 star reviews? What if it flops? What if it doesn’t sell and I never get another contract again? What if I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author my whole life and it just doesn’t have a happily ever after ending?

I am a realist. I don’t expect to have the next Fifty Shades of Gray on my hands. There’s not enough kinky sex in mine for that. And I know I will get 1 star reviews. I’ve seen them for some of my favorite books. But it’s still terrifying.

I never actually expected my dream would come true. I believed that people had dreams to keep them going. To give them hope, something to live for. I thought Jiminy Cricket was a lying SOB. So now that it’s happened and I’ve gone through the stages. I get the graphic. And my dreams must have been big enough. Cuz I’m scared to death!

Promise to be kind when you review my book. Two star minimum. And follow your dreams!

You can follow me, too, on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/shawnarp/.

What are your dreams and do you think you’d be scared if they came true?

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