I cried for 48 hours (or more) after I published my book

The critics inside of me are telling me to stop whining and excuse myself constantly. They are telling me that what I love to do and feel alive doing is useless, worthless and a waste of time. The insecurity inside of me are telling me to stop ask for peoples time – you are not good enough, they say.

Understanding the world and myself is one of my greatest interests. I have always been one of those people who respond “but why” to every answer I get. I want to go deeper and not settle so easily. I also love the magic of experiencing things I simply can’t explain and where the restless “but why” is exchanged with a fascinated “how the fuck…” My interest in writing comes from a combination of wanting to understand the why but also to express the lack of understanding.

What started off as a psychology assignment called “write about your life” turned into a dream about…a life. The relieving and revealing experience of simply trying to explain to a blank paper what is going on in your mind and body soon became my therapy and I felt like many people would be able to relate and maybe feel less alone on their own journey if I shared my experience with eating disorders, alcohol abuse and an overall lack of self-love.

The lead up

It had been a big week and my hormones were clearly supporting my emotional ride down towards that fear of how many people that wouldn’t read it, or even scarier; how many people that wouldn’t like it. I thought I was prepared for this. I wasn’t.

I mean, I had self published this book and if you have done that you might know that feeling of seeing yourself as a somewhat “fake-author”, no matter how passionate you are about writing. But I had worked so damn hard on this book, I knew that the book wasn’t fake, the work I had put in wasn’t fake – still I couldn’t separate myself from that feeling. Every word had come from my heart and bones – but right now I hated it.

Seeing it on the Amazon website with one review (from my partner) I felt the self-doubt just overflowing my body. My alibies for being a shit-fake writer was everything from; English is not my first language, nobody is ever going to find this book because it is self-published- to believing that I am too crazy and people will not be able to relate at all.

 

I mentioned earlier that it had been a big week, and it had. My caffeine consumption was through the roof even though I know it contributes to my PMS and I hadn’t prioritized sleeping. I basically hadn’t prioritized myself at all. Just this stupid book I’d ben working on since I was 17. Now I am 26 and it was finally time to click ‘publish’. I felt a little nauseous, my palms were sweating and I didn’t know if I was exited, scared or both.

The book isn’t stupid, I know that. It is actually pretty cool. It has a soul quite like mine; a mix of dark and light and a reverse-magnetic- will to spread love in this world. Not just by doing random acts of kindness, but through helping people find out for themselves how they can make their own life a little lighter, and at the same time also the world around them.

The only thing I could think of now was ”who the fuck am I to help people connect to their inner emotions?” I am sitting here, 24 hours after publishing the book on Amazon crying so much my partner had to shove me into an ice-cold shower to try and snap me out of my mental breakdown. Add on another 24 and I am out for a 10km run, still crying, sometimes so much I have to stop to be able to breathe. Who the hell am I to talk about love, health and helping young teenage girls to see their own self-worth?

 What happened next?

I watched some Netflix and felt sorry for myself, believing that I forever had lost my passion for writing. I drank some tea (chamomile mainly), cried a lot, felt like I was useless a lot, wondering if I ever would find motivation to do anything ever again, a lot. When I aimlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed I came across an interview with Ada Calhoun

( https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/07/how-to-become-a-real-actual-successful-writer-how-to-fail-other-tips-with-ada-calhoun/ ).

In the interview she shares the ups and downs with the craft of writing and she made me realize that I am not the only one feeling like this after publishing something. In fact, it seems to be playing a big part in being a writer, or any type of creative person, to feel this vulnerable when sharing your work. Sure, I can probably learn how to deal with my publishing-anxiety to not scare my partner (and myself) to death every time I publish something in the future, but listening to Ada speak about writing made me understand that it might not be such a bad thing feeling like shit about this whole publishing thing after all – because it means that I care for this book. A lot.

Of course I am scared that it might fail me, and statistically it should, I mean, isn’t that what they all say? But I don’t like statistic – I like emotions, and deep inside, in my gut, I know that I have put in everything I mentally and physically could in this book, never have I worked harder on completing something and doing it properly. Never have I cared about something like I cared about this. And now when it is out there I stopped caring for it. Why?

I was too scared to care because if I care I might start to cry again, and I have cried and walked around all shriveled up (you know that cry-walk) for so long that another 24 hours later I completely pinched my neck in my morning stretch and probably need to wear tiger balm and a flannel scarf for another 48 hours. I cared so much I couldn´t care anymore. Whoa, all of this felt so good to say, and it actually gave me back the writer inside of me who I 48 hours ago didn’t know if I would ever see again.

That’s the beauty of writing, isn’t it? It helps to pick us up when nothing else can…

95 thoughts on “I cried for 48 hours (or more) after I published my book”

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