Every time I thought about launching this website I would feel the cold dread of fear in my gut.
Yep, I was absolutely terrified of pushing that one little button and letting the whole world see my author website.
Because I was afraid people would think it was lame. Or that it showed just how little I knew about being an author. Or that no one would read it.
Basically, I was battling an age old nemesis: Fear. Specifically the fear of falling flat on my face and failing.
In the days leading up to launching this site, I felt my heart speed up any time I thought about launch day. I’d laugh nervously, and then do a little hop and twirl to get the nervous energy out. I knew that once I launched this website, that it was one more step that got me closer to doing this other, really big, really scary, really amazing thing that I’d dreamed of since I was a kid:
Publishing my first book.
Sometimes, success can make us feel far more fear than not trying at all.
I’m not sure why it’s more panic inducing than failure, but I do know that there have been so many times I’ve felt this. And every time, I take some deep breaths and tell myself to calm down. I look at what I’ve done, I look at where I was and then I square my shoulders and make a promise to myself that no matter how hard it is, I will do everything I can to keep this success going.
To be honest, I’ve had a lot of what people would call failures. The web series I produced with my husband and our best friend, for instance. Critically and among the Seattle film community it was a success. People loved it! But we could never figure out how to monetize it, and it never went anywhere. Some would say we failed. And for a while I would cry every time I thought of that series because I loved it so much and it hadn’t gotten any traction.
But then, one day, I realized that I was looking at it all wrong. We had dared to do something most people just sit around and BS about. We had made something funny, and intelligent and original that resonated with people. No, we never got very far out of the starting gate, in spite of all our hard work. But if you look at writers and producers who are “over night successes” you find out that they had to write and produce a lot of “failures” and build off that before their break out hit.
I look at that series now, and I see a success because we were brave enough to do it, and do it well. It’s one of the things I’m most proud about in my creative life; so far anyway.
Which brings me back to this website.
It’s probably not perfect. I will likely retool, and change things over the next year as I learn more about being an Indie Author. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. If I waited for things to be perfect, I’d never do anything, and neither would you. We can’t wait for perfect to start our creative lives.
Perfect doesn’t show up, ever. It’s like Waiting For Guffman. It just doesn’t happen. And, just like Waiting For Guffman, we will do a lot of stupid, embarrassing, unnecessary things if we insist on waiting for perfect.
Instead, we must strive and learn and make every creative offering better than the last one. Maybe that’s part of the fear, because it’s never ending, really hard work. We put our heart out there and let people trample and take a dump on it. For those of us that feel called to a life of Creativity, we don’t just do this once. No, we do it dozens; if we’re lucky, hundreds of times. And every time we are afraid that this will be the moment everyone sees what a fraud we are.
Right now, I feel that. That Inner Critic is pouring on the Impostor Syndrome with relish. And I’m shaking, terrified.
But also determined.
He hasn’t beaten me before, and I’m not about to hand the bastard a victory now.
So go ahead Inner Critic, go for it. I may cry and curl up for a minute, but then I’m going to brush it all off, put up my fists and knock you on your butt.
Do you have something you’re afraid of doing? Have you already done it? Are you on the threshold of doing it?
I’d love to hear all about it, to share this crazy journey with you. Feel free to leave a comment below, on my Facebook page, or sign up to my monthly email newsletter where you’ll get exclusive content and a round up of my blog posts for the month.
Here’s to lots of wonderful successful failures!