Sometimes the bestest most exciting opportunities are also the freakiest. This past week has been all about big fat fear. And it’s totally related to The Book. Maybe the sequel to Women Are Scary needs to be Writing Is Scary.
As with the rest of my life, I’m going to be brutally honest about all the feels as I birth my book baby and usher it into the world. It’s the only way I know how to live, letting my guts about everything plop across the pages of this blog. So last month, you saw me get my full dork on in my ultimate happy dance, sheer, sloppy joy and I don’t care who sees me celebrate with my Running Man and Roger Rabbit in my faded yoga pants.
And then last week, the fear gripped me. Like someone twisted the kaleidoscope in my brain, the joy bursts skittered to the edges of the lens and the fear took center stage. I stared at stats and thumbed through Twitter and let the excitement of sharing my stories and ideas fall away to the fear of one-starred reviews and dead silence and no one giving a rabbit turd about what I have to say.
Have you ever gotten so lost in the social media comparison trap that you wonder why you bother having ideas at all, because everyone else’s are better? Everyone else has better pictures, more followers, and they don’t feed their children cupcakes for dinner. Everyone else is funnier or more spiritual or craftier or wiser.
Fear. No good comes from these forays into the ditch.
And then my blog experienced server problems and I felt like I was in the hospital at its bedside, watching the beeping monitors and hoping it would be okay again soon. I felt mid-scream all week. What am I doing? Why can’t I keep my head down? Why do I insist on stringing words together?
I’ve had a hard time praying lately. I mean, really talking to God and listening and getting in His presence. I’m a terrified animal and my eyes dart back and forth and I can’t concentrate.
Can I be this honest? Does anybody know what I’m talking about?
I need to ask you for a favor. (It does not involve helping me move a couch.)
If this is your first time on my blog, feel free to skip this and read one of my posts where I have my crap together and there’s a fluffy bow at the end. (I’m sure there’s one on here somewhere…possibly.) But if you’ve been around for awhile, we’re friends, and I need to ask for something.
Would you pray for me as I walk out these next many months leading up to my book? Honestly, I love this work and the words I’ve spilled out for you. I can’t wait for you to see them. I am still the dancing dork and I’m excited. But sometimes the fear wants to overtake me and I think I’ll probably have to move to Antarctica and live with the penguins. If you see Unexpected in your Facebook or Twitter feed or randomly think about me over the next few months, please say a prayer for God to just hold me close so I don’t wander away and crumple into a little ‘fraidy cat fur-ball.
I should’ve asked you guys to pray a long time ago, and I’m really sorry I didn’t think to do that until now. I’m really sorry, because I know how important prayer is. I pray for you guys all the time. And when one of you reaches out and asks for prayer, it’s the greatest privilege to get to do that for you.
I love praying for other people, and sometimes we just get in places where it’s hard to pray for ourselves. Do you know what I mean? And it can be hard to ask, because we hate feeling needy and we want to pretend like we have it all together. (Well, actually, I blew past that last part a long time ago.)
Have you ever been really excited and totally scared at the same time? What did you do? How did you pray? What Bible verses kept you from drowning? Songs to blast in the minivan? This is not rhetorical, friends. I really want to hear. Speak into my life and maybe lots of people need to hear what you have to say.
I wish book contracts came with built-in mentor authors to tell you everything is going to be okay. I’d also like for someone to stroke my hair, and an on-demand hugging buddy would be fabulous.
It’s going to be awesome, this year. I’m really looking forward to the whole process. And I’ll keep blogging all the ups and downs and excitement and freakouts. It’s my way.
How to deal with big fat fear? I’m going with ask your friends for prayer and help. So help. Gimme what you got.
**UPDATE: I couldn’t post this when I wrote it, because All the Server Probs, but as I finished writing this a few days ago, a friend messaged me to ask if we could pray for each other. Before I’d even asked. She lives on the other side of the country and we prayed over the phone. It was exactly what I needed. So cool.
**ANOTHER UPDATE: I just got back the edits to my book, and I’m excited, friends. My editor is helping me make this book even better, and I’m reminded of the sheer joy of getting to do this. Woo and hoo!
**ONE MORE UPDATE: My Smarty Pants Brother and Hubby talked geek for a little while and fixed my blog. She’s up and running again, and here come a lot of pent up posts. I’m sure all of you were on the edge of your lawn chairs wondering if my children had finally eaten me for breakfast.
image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chainsawpanda/