This month starts a new chapter in my life. Literally.
I have been working on a narrative fiction book and have just completed the first draft. Reaching my goal of at least 100,000 words (I hit 121,000 by The End) was a mountain all by itself. Then, as the summer came to a close I left the safety net of working for a company to working as a contractor in the Marketing world. There are pros and cons to both of these mile stones that have very little to do with one another. But the one thing they share...
They terrify me.
The book should be satisfying. And it was, to a certain extent. There is a well-deserved pat on the back feeling just by writing the words "The End." The trouble is that the work is just starting. About six of my writing friends and enthusiasts were quick to push me towards self-publishing now that it's done. Um, no. It's not done. There is a reason it's called a rough draft. The spelling is going to be interesting, grammar will need an overhaul, and lets not mention the formatting nightmare of getting is publisher ready. So... Do I send it to readers to help me find those things, or do I do it myself and never share it with anyone? I was ready for a fifth of tequila by the end of what should have been a triumphant day.
Ultimately, I decided it was a good plan to get fresh eyes on it. I sent it to eight readers who were instructed they could read and comment on content or, if they prefer, the reader can point out every single flaw. They will likely do a touch of both. Scary as it was, it needed to be done. The work would have languished in a computer file and never moved. Now my readers will do the work needed to get me to the next level with the text, and I can focus on the my pitch to publishers.
As for the new job, I'm excited. And terrified. I will be working for a non-profit for the first time. It is a very different world than creating content for creatives. I can't give away tickets to the screening of a movie to get people to donate to my campaign. I have to cultivate them into supporting their community, then come back and do it again. My marketing and administrative hats will be worn simultaneously as I help this organization grow. I'm looking forward to it, but ooh nelly, is it scary.
Then, I think back to some of my exercises I've been trained in for creative endeavors. The point of growth IS the scary moment. I'm embracing both new challenges and starting the fall with both eyes open.