Sunday, October 23, 2016

Doing It Scared (#SmallWonder Link-up)


Thursday morning I printed off a how to manual for formatting the inside of a book and sat outside highlighting the parts I thought would apply to the job ahead of me that afternoon.  It was a beautiful fall day, enough to warrant (in my mind) printing the 70 plus page manual.  Looking up, I caught this picture of our rooster, Joker silhouetted by the sun.  You can see the farm stand in the background.  

I started formatting around noon and by three o'clock I really wanted to go into the house for a drink of water or cup of coffee, but I made myself stay put in the Ikea chair in my office.  If I pushed, I could finish formatting the inside layout of my forthcoming book before the kids’ bus rolled over the hill to drop them off, and I really wanted to be done.

Thirty more minutes and I had done it.  All eighteen sections of my book were copied, pasted and formatted into the layout template I purchased online.  I felt like my eyes were going to fall out of my head and I had spent the last four hours struggling to breathe for fear one finger-stroke would blow the whole book out of the water.

//

This is how a lot of self-publishing has been.  I was scared and overwhelmed by websites like Createspace and Canva (Never heard of them?  I hadn’t either.) but I found them and set up accounts.  I didn’t understand book formatting lingo and the specifications necessary for designing a cover layout, but I googled instructions, read them, and did it.  Every week brought a new skill to learn, a new figurative blank page that terrified me to the core. 

Making dinner in the kitchen while the kids watched TV in the afternoons, I would sense my fear and anxiety.  Why am I so anxious?  I wondered.  

Because I don’t know what I’m doing, came the reply.

It turns out, I don’t like not knowing what I’m doing. 

But I also tried to find perspective, You didn’t know what you were doing a week ago when you designed the cover, but you figured it out.  You can do this too.

I thought of all the times I’ve walked blind into new challenges, and although I don’t like it at all, I kept on groping my way along the path of self-publishing.  I think this is what some people call, “doing it scared.”  The idea of doing something despite your fear and not allowing fear to be the boss.  Maybe “doing it scared” is the secular version of “walking by faith, not by sight.”

// 

This is one side of my self-publishing story - I've done it scared. (Although I think the term 'terrified' would be a more accurate descriptor.)  There’s been value in the challenge of learning new skills and overcoming hurdles.  But it’s also been exhausting.  
  
Friday night, I finally submitted all of my files to Create Space (Amazon’s self-publishing site).  This was the one step I was most nervous about.  After submitting, I felt a breath of relief.  Then, I laid down on the couch and fell asleep at 7:00 pm and slept straight through until the following morning. 

I think it’s important for others to be aware that there’s a real cost to doing it scared.  And, because of that, I’m not sure it’s a value I altogether promote.  It’s ok to be scared and important to not let fear be your master, but sometimes our fear and stress are telling us important things too. 

“Doing it scared” can only take us so far without things like, “doing it together” and “doing it with grace and a heaping dose of help.”  Although I’m proud of myself for the work I’ve done these past two months, I’m not unaware of the cost.  

Also, I’ve not, by any measure, done it alone.  I’m grateful for those who’ve come alongside of me to offer advice, encouragement and support.  I hope my experience will help me remember to take notice when others around me are doing it scared.  Those are the times when we need to lean in and offer  help and support.  

What have you "done scared"?  What was it like for you?  

*   *   *


It's official!  My book, Chicken Scratch: Stories of Love, Risk & Poultry is coming on November 7th!  Feel free to share this image on social media and stay tuned next week for more info one ways you can help get the word out.  

One advance reader gave me a great compliment today.  "It felt like sitting down with you over a cup of coffee and listening to you tell stories.  I didn't know how much I needed it."  

*   *   *



Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  

What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?  

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  Thanks for being part of our community!  

16 comments:

  1. Wow! Congratulations! I don't like doing it scared and I've had to do it that way so many times in my life. What a feeling of accomplishment you must have now that you are done. Next step? Maybe you could write a comprehensive "how to" that is easier for us lay people to understand. Or a dictionary of formatting terms and explanations!
    Thank you for the link up.
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not quite done yet. :) Yes, a "how to" is desperately needed, but I'm afraid I just want to put it all behind me for a while.

      Delete
  2. This: Maybe “doing it scared” is the secular version of “walking by faith, not by sight.”

    YES!!! I love this post and I am so glad that you pushed through... CreateSpace and Canva intimadates me, too! Yikes! I did an ebook a few months ago solely because God told me I had to and He only gave me about a week to do it!? What? But... I did it. I want to make it available for paperback and that will require me to follow your lead here. (I agree with Patricia! LOL!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard, but doable if you give yourself lots of grace and time. Lamaze breathing helps too ;)

      Delete
  3. I'm so excited about your book coming out, Kelly! You are more brave than you give yourself credit for. I do so many things afraid...if I didn't, I'd never do anything. ha. Thankful I'm not alone. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! Thanks so much for being vulnerable and sharing this with us all. I have been scared to try something like this and it helps to hear someone else share how they overcame that fear enough to move forward and try this. Looking for your new creation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, scared doesn't have to mean stop, but it definitely means proceed with caution and support.

      Delete
  5. proud of you Kelly. that is a feat. I haven't published a book because I'm overwhelmed by all that you just did. It's rigorous. However, I have been writing a grant for a new film project for weeks. It's harrowing. I understand. Somehow we do these things. I'd rather hire someone. I dream about it, but can't swing the cost. geez. You did it! Yeah. Grab some tea and give yourself a break! You deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And good luck on your project :)

      Delete
  6. So happy for you and encouraged by your perseverance in spite of fear.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can't wait to read your book, Kelly! And that is a fantastic comment from the reader. I've often felt that way when I read your blog posts--that I needed to read what I had just read.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, Kelly! This is so exciting! Thank you for sharing your struggles. I think fear of not knowing how has held me back from finishing a children's book I started 3 years ago and a poetry one I'm working on now. Your post encourages me to push through the fear and get help when needed. Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear that, Gayl. Go for the finish!

      Delete