There is a state of being where that little voice in your head goes haywire. It comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, and whines. It imagines everything that can go wrong in living Technicolor as the mental movie plays over and over again on a nonstop reel. This is called worry. Yes, it is irrational, often based on nothing more than a feeling. And we all know how fickle those can be. But I have lived there for the past few weeks as I worked to get Angelique’sWar ready for release. I agonized over typos, wondered if the plot rang true, speculated over how it would be received by readers. It became a nasty little game of self-torture, sprinkled with a healthy dose of self-doubt and second-guessing.
Whew. That felt good to admit in public. I think perhaps that sometimes we are so busy pretending to be confident, to be in charge of all things, even those clearly out of our control, that we become like actors on a stage as we don the mask and whisper, “everything is just fine.” But let’s face it: human nature is such that whenever we embark on something new, it is bound to be scary, accompanied by a bit of apprehension. And it isn’t a bad thing, unless we are unable to ultimately tame the beast.
I had a profound thought as I was lying awake one night, wondering if the book was ready or if I should edit it one more time. What good would it do for me to become so anxiety-riddled that I failed to enjoy the moment, missed the exhilaration of the experience of sending the book out into the world? I mean, after all, wasn’t that the whole point of writing it? At the risk of sounding like a song from a Disney movie, it was time to “let it go,” and hopefully to let it thrive and grow.
Much of the pain and angst we experience is self-inflicted. We become mired in the past, which we cannot change or fret about the future which hasn’t yet happened. Somehow, the present gets bookended between the two and is lost. And quite frankly, this bit of time is all we have. The realization of the importance of enjoying what is happening right now is pretty powerful.
I launched the book today. I closed my eyes and imagined that people are reading it, allowing my words to enter their consciousness and my story to play with their imaginations. I didn’t worry about the outcome. I am just appreciating this moment, this day, this experience. And I am mighty grateful for it.