I have wanted to write since I was 8 years old. It took me 26 years to do it: at 34, I finally completed my first novel (different pen name; I might reveal it to you when we know each other better). It went on to become an international bestseller, and I penned 7 more with world-famous publishing houses. I always knew I wanted to set the rules for myself, and have toyed with the idea of publishing my books myself since 2010. But I was scared to do it. It took me 7 years to take the plunge. So that short book you downloaded for free is NOT just a book. It's a tiny step that conquered a 36-year-old fear.
How does that feel? Let me take you through it.
Before I did it, I thought I would go mad. One moment I thought I knew that publishing a book by myself was the absolute best thing for me. The next, I was convinced this was pure folly. The more I researched, the more I learned, the more the doubts receded. They still came, but with less potency. And then I read some more and finally the moments of doubt were not scaring me anymore. I accepted they were part of the process. But I was still very far away from taking the plunge.
Because what lay ahead of me was not a learning curve, it was a gigantic monster with too many tentacles to count. Every time I thought I had hacked one of them (by training myself to tame it with new tools and new ways of doing things), a brand new one sprouted, ready to strike me. "Overwhelmed" is an understatement. One day I bought a wall-sized white board and colorful pens, and I drew one giant to-do-list. Then I ticked one task at a time.
One task at a time.
Then, miraculously, one day I finished the first instalment of my serial. Then the corrections were done. Then my cover was designed. My website was live. The systems were in place. There were still a million things I could do, but the most important was done; all I had to do now was to press "publish".
I wish there was a word that could describe that feeling: to be terrified and impatient and vulnerable and combattive and elated all at the same time.
So I did. I launched "Lost in Dreams", my first self-published work of fiction, on 2nd October 2017. The rest is not quite history... but I will tell you about it next time. Until then... Avec toute mon amitié, Colette
PS: Perhaps it inspired me, perhaps it didn't - but for months before I decided to finally "take that dreaded step", I listened to one audiobook. Over and over and over again, until I understood each chapter. I listened to it in the bus, on the treadmill, in bed, pretty much every moment I could. Then I stopped listening, and started doing. The audiobook was "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield. Jack Canfield, one of the most famous and respected success gurus, also publishes his (many) books himself... You might have heard of a little series called "Chicken Soup for the Soul"? Some people may wince at such book or principle. I say: any help to overcome that most dreaded first step is gratefully received...