The past few days have been crazy. I’m traveling cross country first to speak in Albuquerque, to the New Mexico Medical Association for Staff Services, then on to North Carolina for the Gaston County Teacher’s Conference. In the midst of my romp across America, my baby decided to come early. My book baby that is.
The contractions started a couple of days ago. I got an email from my publisher saying, “Your books arrived in the warehouse.”
I immediately felt the signs of my heart’s increased rate. A slight sense of nausea started in my gut, a skim of perspiration trickled over my forehead, and a sticky tongue clung to the roof of my mouth. Why?
Because this meant people would soon start reading it. But at least I still had a few days.
Then I got a Facebook message from a family member. “Amazon sent me a message saying your book was shipping early.”
The nerves bit my tense muscles a little harder.
My best friend texted me a copy of her own Amazon notice. Seeing those words, “Your new expected delivery date is August 6th,” caused me to tear up. Both in joy, and in fear.
It might seem strange that someone who invested years, sacrificed countless hours, and harbored this secret dream since childhood might now be nervous at the moment of success. But as much as I wanted this day to come, I didn’t realize how scary it would be to think of others actually sitting down and reading the words I wrote.
Now I’m a practical person, I’ve always known a certain segment would criticize my content, would naysay my message, and would vehemently disagree with my outlook. There will always be nit-pickers and skeptics. I can handle that. As much adversity as I’ve overcome, I’ve intentionally grown a pretty thick skin. It doesn’t mean that barbs and digs don’t hurt, it simply means I choose not to let them paralyze me.
What concerns me most are not the strangers who might hate my book. I care what the people closest to me think. You can’t help pouring a bit of your soul onto a page when you write, and I’m not sure how some of what I spilled will sound to someone else’s ears. But then, I have to breathe and let it go.
At the end of my temporary paranoia, I remember this. Whether the people I care about love or hate my book, it doesn’t really matter. Just as we do in everyday life, we can agree to disagree, hate something the other loves, but still maintain our compassion, our mercy, our acceptance. True friends and family allow us to be ourselves.
For me, I think publishing my first book, is just another step in a maturing as a human being. Yes my book baby is here, and my life will never be the same, but no matter what, I am still the same me. Someone who simply wants to meet the Lord’s requirements — To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.
How do you handle fear and criticism?
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker. She’s the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Christianbook.com, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
ristianbook.com.She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, a client of WordServe Literary Group, and the Simply Sue Speaks booking agency. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Anita likes to lounge by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.