“You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions.”
As the days march on from that first one where I clicked “publish” on Kindle Direct Publishing, it feels less and less real. I thought it would be the opposite—the more time that passed since publishing Rachel and the Mighty Arm that Built Egypt, I thought it would feel more real, more concrete, more natural, more like, “Of course I wrote a book. I’m a writer.” But instead I feel more detached, more like it was a fluke, more like it was a mistake, more like it’s not real.
I just clicked to enlarge the image of my cover on Goodreads. “Wow,” I thought, “that looks like a cool book.” Not my cool book. Just a book someone wrote. Me? Logically I know that I did, but I’m back to feeling that paralyzing fear of failure, that writing books is too big… even though I’ve already done it.
I’ve got partial outlines and an absurd amount of notes on the two sequels I have planned for Rachel and the Mighty Arm that Built Egypt. I’ve also got three partially written non-fiction books that I meant to have finished by October.
That’s not going to happen now.
Forgive me the cliché, but… life has gotten in the way. My health has been awful all summer. With the stall in my writing due to my health, the seed of self-doubt has had time and room to grow again. I’m well practiced in self-doubt, self-sabotage, and low self-esteem. The struggle is not deciding I’m a failure just because I’ve had a setback.
This is me just being real.
I really do love my book, too. And I know I’ve got so many more books in me, but right now I’m feeling stuck. There are so many other stressors in life and there’s my poor health. I want to pretend like all of the world doesn’t exist and wake up feeling well and just write book after book. Unfortunately the stress of life adversely effects my already poor health. So I’m just struggling through each day. Not even opening up a word document to work on my books. Writing a blog post once a month. Hardly posting on any social media. Wondering when/if I’ll finish what I’ve said I would. Feeling like a fake and a failure. Staring at the beautiful cover of my published book. Hoping it’s really mine.