Confidence in the midst of back-to-school anxiety

Out of all the things I've done in the past year, I don't know why I feel so anxious this week. I was fine when I quit my job to write full time (that was kind of a big deal). I was even fine all those months going back and forth with editors, designers, and printers, making decisions about things I knew nothing about, and in the meantime, setting up my own independent publishing company. But this week is different. This week I officially launched my book.

Launch week is like the biggest relief and the highest anxiety you'll ever experience, all rolled into one shot of adrenaline in the arm. It's a proud moment, a time of champagne popping and dining out in congratulatory celebration. A time of interviews and interaction with fans, picture taking and bookstore signings--all amazing proclamations of success! 

Stacey D. Atkinson (grade one school photo)

 But when the day's over and I go to bed, I can't help but lie awake realizing that I've just created something that is to be consumed and judged by the public, and it's all out of my control now. Media, bloggers, and readers are going to take the book and tell me what they really think of it--good or bad. It's kind of akin to that back-to-school feeling when you wear your new clothes and wonder if you'll fit in and if the other kids will like you. Or your bus arrives late (which happened to me every year) and you walk into the classroom and wonder if anyone is going to talk to you--the new kid.

(p.s. this is me in grade one)

Anxiety, I think, is the humbler of the book launch. A way to stay grounded. Otherwise, it all just seems too good to be true; to live a life fulfilling a dream; to achieve what I set out to do. So in true Atkinson style, I am not going to sit around waiting for something to happen. It's time to get writing again. You know what they say about writers: you're only as good as your next book!

Onward and upward!

Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.


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