In a little over 48 hours, I’ll be at a book launch with about 40 other local speculative fiction writers. I’ll be reading a 1-minute excerpt of my short story and ohgod just thinking about it makes me want to throw up from nerves.
But I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it because I wanted to be published, and sometimes being published means being the girl standing in front of an audience asking them to love her writing. I’m going to do it because I want to prove that actually love my writing enough to send it out into the wild.
For the longest time, I’ve been afraid to do this because I think I might not be good enough or interesting enough or entertaining enough. I hesitate because fiction is too fanciful “and doesn’t really help people” the way non-fiction does.
But then I realized: fiction is where I found the Litany Against Fear, written by Frank Herbert in “Dune”, which has helped me through some terrible times. It’s through fiction that I learned courage and kindness and nobility and empathy. It’s through fiction that I met ALL of my best friends, whether the fiction in question involved books or games or television shows.
Fiction is safe and dangerous and comforting and uncomfortable and complex—much like real life. Isn’t it worth facing fears for?
On Saturday I’ll be reading an excerpt of my short story “Shake-Ups” (you can read it in the Incredible Truths bundle, which I’m giving away 3 copies of) in front of a room full of strangers.
Next month, I’ll start publishing chapters of my new short story, which is set in the same universe as “Shake-Ups” on Wattpad.
I’m thinking of publishing a permafree book involving the “Shake-Ups” characters next year.
Basically, I’m going to be brave as fuck for the next few months or so because I’ve been a coward for way too long and I’m hoping that a silent reader out there finds this post and realizes that they can do this too.
Maybe this will help you find that little nugget of courage it takes to press “publish”. Maybe this will help you get up the nerve to promote your awesome art more. Or maybe this will just help you wake up in the morning.
Whichever way it goes, I hope whatever it is I’m doing right now helps you.
I will face my fear, until only I will remain. And if I’m lucky, I can help you do the same.
What are you afraid of doing right now?