I'm tired this morning. I couldn't get to sleep last night. Instead I laid in bed with my head whirling around, images and words competing with that high whining buzz that is the soundtrack for sleeplessness. And I did it to myself.
I've written thousands and thousands of words for articles, newspaper columns book reviews, encyclopedia entries and monographs (books). Writing doesn't freak me out. Then what's my problem, you ask. It's this self publishing thing. You see, for my entire writing career every word I ever wrote was handled by someone else after I wrote it. Heck, I barely had to edit a document. Just write it and send it a publisher or editor. And now I've decided to be my own publishing company. It's thrilling. Thrillingly terrifying. Like walking through a dark wood, chased by a mean witch, worried about Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh My!
I spent yesterday afternoon working on my self-publishing check list. Start a limited liability corporation? Check. It's Writing Wench Press. Create author pages at Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest? Check. Hire cover designer? Check. Edit manuscript one more time? Check. Find reviews? Where? Format novel? Huh? Buy ISBNs and bar codes? Nope! (Seems terribly real). There's more. My checklist is 7 pages long.Some of it I understand, some of it I don't. It's scary.
Then why do it? Because my whole life I've handed over my words, my ideas to a publisher and I've had little control over what happens next and been paid the tiniest of money. I'm tired of writing stuff people don't really read and I'm tired of not having control and I'm tired of working hard for tiny money. I don't care about money very much. I have everything I need and I like my job. I know people with more money than me. They don't seem any happier for it. Quite the opposite in fact. Mostly, I made a promise to myself a couple of years ago to re-invent myself. To become a better version of me, one truer to who I am and less responsive to what other people expect. Part of that pledge was a promise to myself to keep learning new things.
Learning new things, trying new things, going new places, it's all terrifying. But it's in those spaces where I've taken chances (like leaving Bozeman and moving to So. Cal) that I've found who I'm supposed to be. So I push on. Like Dorothy and her friends. There was a lion in the woods and he scared Dorothy and the Tin Man. Then it turned out he wasn't so scary. So they sang a song and skipped away from the fear. That's what I'm going to do. And the poppies? Well they're in front of me somewhere, but like Dorothy, I'll fall down and then get up again. As many times as it takes to get where I need to go.
I think women my age are good at this.I know some astounding women and they inspire me very day. I think women are better at reinvention than men (I could be wrong though) because we have to be. Are you a re-inventor? Do you find things you're afraid of and then do them anyway? Why don't you share a little in the comments below. Spread the Love!