Have you ever had something so exciting happen in your life that you were afraid to talk about it?
We’re taught from an early age to diminish our dreams.
- “Don’t jinx it.”
- “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”
- “Don’t get too excited, it might not work out.”
That last one always gets to me, the idea that we have to stifle our joy and live without hope of a better, more exciting future for ourselves.
Once, as a teenager, I meandered into a fortune teller’s house and paid her $20 to tell me I’d had a hex put on me in my mother’s womb.
“You must be careful,” she said, “People will hate you if you have the success you desire.”
She then tried to sell me a $400 candle that would remove the evil eye. While I didn’t pay her at the time (that was half a month’s rent!), I still spent years giving my energy to this idea that the “evil eye” will be put on me if I’m too successful, so I needed to keep my accomplishments hidden.
I like to believe that I no longer shrink myself, my joy, and my dreams for others, but then something great happened and I was afraid to share it with you.
My excuses seemed valid at the time:
- I should wait until the “perfect moment” when the news would have the most impact for my business.
- It’s all changing daily, and I don’t want to share too soon.
- What if nothing comes of it, then I’m just sitting here looking like an idiot.
- It’s not that big of a deal, really. Who’d even care?
- My nephew just died and it’s the 10th anniversary of my brother’s death – should I really be sharing happy news right now?
But really, I was just afraid of what would happen if I shared my joy with you.
It’s funny how joy can be harder to share than pain; how hope feels more vulnerable than fear.
I’ve built a career on sharing my vulnerability. From writing detailed of my sex life for my Queerie Bradshaw columns to posing half-nude on the internet for my Bawdy Love movement to sharing my grief after my brother died.
But hope is a different kind of vulnerability.
I know what to do when things go wrong and I want to fix them. I’m not sure yet how to celebrate when things go right and I want to amplify them.
So, I’m practicing. Here. Today. With you.
Here’s my big, exciting news:
My book is out to publishers!
Typing that out, it doesn’t seem so scary.
But, like most dreams, there are layers of vulnerability underneath it.
This is my third time going through the process of getting an agent and then sending my book to publishers.
I’ve been rejected the other two times for being _____.
That blank always played into my biggest insecurities – too gay, too fat, too complex to fit into a simple genre, not talented enough, not popular enough (aka too small of a following online).
It felt like high school all over again.
Writing, editing, and publishing a book takes perseverance and resilience.
Sending another book out into the world took a lot of pep talks and pushing through fear. I’m damn glad I did it – I refuse to let my dreams be held back by fear – but it’s still scary AF.
- What if I go through all of this only to be rejected again?
- What if I’m offered a shit deal that ties me to a crappy agent, editor and publisher?
- What if this book I love, that I put my heart and soul into, is actually flawed, problematic, and not that great? (What if I am actually flawed, problematic, and not that great?)
- And worse yet – what if this book is a success and I have to step into the powerful, creative, bright star I know myself to be?
- What if this book finds an editor and team who loves it, it becomes a best-seller, it changes lives, it’s picked by Oprah, and all my dreams come true? Then what?
As a book writing coach, I want you to push past fear and step into your own brilliance.
And if I want you to do that, I have to also do it myself.
I don’t yet have the words to help you step into that power, so I’m borrowing them from someone who does:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be? ”– Marianne Williamson
Here’s to being brave enough to shine brightly.
Here’s to not holding back our hope, joy, and excitement.
Here’s to stepping into the light.
Here’s the never shrinking away.
Because the world needs your story now more than ever.
P.S. If you long for the day when your book goes to publishers, be sure you’re on the waitlist for Write Your Friggin’ Book Already®. I’m opening registration back up in December.
CURRENTLY I AM LOVING:
- The weird but fun videos I’m making on TikTok.
- This TikTok course by Leigh Stein that helped me learn to love it and harness it as a writer (that link gives you a discount but I’m not an affiliate – I just really loved the course!).
- This new roast chicken time management technique I came up with (seriously, it works!).
- This permission slip to rest and take a break (I needed it myself).
- The Scholomance series by Naomi Novik. Think Harry Potter but Hogwarts is trying to kill them. Get yourself a copy at Bookshop.org or grab it in audibook form at Libro.fm – those links support both us and your local indy bookstore.
What are you currently loving? Reply to this email and let me know.