How Trump and E. L. James Cured My Anxiety
For whatever reason, I actually felt less and less nervous about publishing my first novella the closer the release date came. Here’s an inside look into what transpired in the days leading up to the release of Show Her.
What I Expected To Happen
Given the near-nervous-breakdown I had when I published the first version of Show Her many, many moons ago, I kinda figured it would go the same way this time. I would be making an insane amount of changes up until the very last second and then would click ‘Publish’ with my eyes closed and go curl into the fetal position on my bed feeling like I’d just murdered a herd of puppies with a blunt axe.
In short, I didn’t think that I had really gathered any confidence at all since the last time I tried to do this. I thought it would be a cluster-fuck of epic proportions.
What I Didn’t Expect To Happen
Yet, it didn’t go like that. Don’t get me wrong, I am a procrastination master (though I am trying to become a better person in this regard), so I was still making major changes to the plot, character descriptions, and even the entire ending as of a week before the launch.
However, I found myself getting more and more excited about release day coming as it approached. I found myself actually telling family members, co-workers, and even strangers early on, with ease and relative comfort.
Why It Happened This Way (In My Humble Opinion)
There are a couple of major things that happened since I began thinking that I wanted to make writing my full-time career that contributed to this more relaxed reaction to self-publishing. Please feel free to use this information for your personal healing if that’s helpful for you.
First, Donald Trump got elected as President of the United States of America. I’ve never been so glued to an election in my life (okay, 2008, I guess, but you know what I mean). So, why was Donald Trump an inspiration that eased my anxiety? Because–following the “rules” of politics–he shouldn’t have won. He should have lost. He should have been an epic failure, a laughing stock. He should have been rejected by every single voter in the country according to traditional political ideology because he “didn’t fit in.” He didn’t look, think, act, walk, or talk like a president or even your run-of-the-mill politician. Yet, he won it all, and by a landslide.
If this man that stood “no chance” of winning the day he announced that he was running made it all the way to the top through sheer persistence and giving haters and critiques the bird, who was I to feel inadequate? How dare I be afraid of rejection! If he can make it to the top of Mount Everest from the Earth’s core, certainly I can make it from the bottom of the mountain (geez, at least I’m above sea level).
Second, E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey not only became a bestseller, but went on to become a proverbial movement in the literary and cinema worlds. I just had to read it since it was getting so much hype, but when I tried, it was like trying not to pass out while sawing off my own leg.
Why is this inspirational for me? Because I struggled so hard to get through the book. I’ve never been a huge fan of romance novels (though I do enjoy erotica) so that was already a strike against her. Beyond that, I personally thought the book wasn’t well written and the plot was not realistic or thought through very much. It was like she wrote it and sent it in without any rereading it herself, having a friend look at, hiring a copy editor or proofreader, etc.–straight from brain to print.
And yet, look at the enterprise that has been built from it! So, again, what the fuck would be wrong with me to think that I can’t be successful just because I don’t love the things that I write? What kind of sense does it make for me to doubt myself and the reading public? If she can do what she loves successfully, so can I.
As an added bonus, I have my beautiful and talented Curtis Cartel as backup. Forming my own cartel was something I knew that I needed to do in order to keep myself moving forward with publishing and hold myself to deadlines. But I could not have imagined how invaluable they have been in helping me turn Show Her into a solid piece of literature.
If you find yourself doubting your work or your abilities, just remember that there are people out there making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars who don’t write half as well as you do, who don’t have the same education and experiences that you have, and who don’t have the same world view as you do. Just because you are technically different from these people doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed at the things that they do. Good luck!