Writings is a fearful business

March 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

I’m in a strange kind of limbo. My life is about to become an open book. Expat Life Slice by Slice, my first book, is now available on Kindle, will be on Amazon on March 21st and I have copies to sell and tout around. It’s all very exciting but it’s also quite daunting.

I appreciate it is a little late to have doubts, but doubts I have. I have my family and friend’s blessing and those I wasn’t quite sure about or couldn’t contact, well I changed their names. But right now I think I’d rather go topless in St. Tropez than be so exposed emotionally, and the last time I did that was thirty years ago, before children.

It’s not that the veracity is in question; it is this fear I will bore everyone I know, or meet in the future, who reads the book. What stories will I have to tell that they haven’t already heard, vaguely amusing ones anyway?

I think the answer is to run away and do a Polly Evans (Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman among other books) and experience some death-defying feat of physical and emotional endurance. Or perhaps I could join TV’s The Amazing Race, but I would have to refuse to jump off or out of anything higher than two feet off the ground. I don’t think I could manage to be submerged in a tank full of cockroaches either, and my heart went out to Indiana Jones when he was suspended over a pit of vipers. Maybe I could single-handedly sail the seven seas but that seems rather passé these days, especially since Laura Dekker, the 16 year-old Dutch girl did it. Rowing across the Atlantic in a bathtub would ruin my nails and I’m not very resilient in the cold, which rules out climbing any mountain. I could live with the Kalahari Bushmen as long as I didn’t have to eat grubs, so I could possibly work on that scenario as a font for future stories.

Of course my fears could be unfounded and I’m assuming people will actually part with hard-earned cash to buy and then read my book. If they don’t my story-telling ability at the bar or the dinner table will remain intact. But then the last six months of discipline, the terror of submitting to a publisher and the pain of rewrites insisted upon by my editor will have been in vain. And I’d hate to have missed the moments of elation, the delight of my children and sheer joy at seeing the pride in my husband’s face when I presented him with the first copy.

So I guess I’ll guts the next few weeks out and do as my publisher, Summertime Publishing, insists and think of myself as a brand and not a person. What brand I wonder do they want me to be? It will have to be wide-ranging – I’d hate to be pigeonholed.

And after this limbo-like phase I can get started on the next book, which will be all about somebody else, or I might just make it all up and write fiction!

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