Ever since August, I’ve been saying that I’ll be getting that paperback version of The Illuminated Heart out eventually. Now that it’s almost January and I still haven’t finished it, I’ve had to admit to myself what’s been holding me back for so long. This week, I was going to post the lyrics to a parody of Jingle Bells that I wrote during finals (and I still might at the end of this post), but I realize that I needed to address this first.
This is my first ever paperback, for one, and I have to learn how to format the story so that, when I get the proof copy of my book, I don’t have to go and fix anything.
So, yes, there’s a bit of a perfectionism thing going on, as well as the dread of a learning curve, along with the fear of the unknown. As well as one question that has plagued me off and on for years:
Am I good enough?
Am I good enough to learn how to get everything right on the first try?
Am I good enough to make it look good, like a real book, and not just something I pulled out of my butt to make a quick buck?
Am I good enough to provide incentive for people to buy the paperback?
Am I good enough to reach this goal, this milestone, without horribly embarrassing myself or hamstringing my career?
I am convinced that the reason we fear doing things that we want to do isn’t because of anything external. It’s because of our beliefs about ourselves. We fear because we believe we should. Because we believe that there is a good chance we’re in danger of being harmed by taking this action we really do want to take. We fear that the strength within us is a lie and that we’re about to see that first hand.
In the face of this fear, I have a few choices:
- Don’t make a paperback.
- Get someone else to format it.
- Make the paperback myself.
- Keep prolonging the decision.
- Give up on civilization and live out the rest of my life in the Amazonian rainforest, because the Canadian north doesn’t have any trees to hide in, dying alone at the hand of poisonous flora because I have absolutely no idea which plants in the Amazon are even edible.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Back to those possible decisions, though:
The first one is totally out. I’ve had too many people ask me to make my books available in paperback to ignore. The fact that many of them are related to me also makes ignoring them highly inadvisable. Plus, how am I supposed to do book signings or have a booth at conventions if I haven’t got any physical books for people to check out?
I don’t have enough money for the second option. Yes, I did do an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for this book, but I hadn’t planned on needing help with formatting. After all, I’ve got the whole ebook thing down. *ignores the fact that formatting for a paperback is very, very different*
Number four is a terrible idea. You’ll get annoyed, I’ll hate myself, we’ll all eat way too much sugar to cope with the negativity, and that’s just not cool.
For obvious reasons, the last option is not a thing I will be doing.
Which leaves me with the third possibility: Make the paperback myself.
Dangit. I hate it when it’s all so darn clear like that. :P Which means I now have to make some kind of deadline, and I have to do it publicly, so that there’s no temptation to go back on that choice and keep prolonging things. After all, I’ve got a webcomic coming next, my first novel coming out this summer, and a video game to make after that.
Oh, dear. Did I just tell you all my fabulous plans for the future?
Now I’ve really got to decide on that deadline.
Here’s how it’ll go:
Classes start back up on January 6th, and I want to keep the whole weekend before then free for relaxation and fun. And just in case a tornado takes down my house or I get sick and literally hack up a lung, at which point I would use the weekend to get done everything that circumstances delayed.
I don’t know how long it takes for a proof copy to be sent to me, which means I may as well be doing something else while I’m waiting for that to get to me, so… yes. That’ll work.
Ok. I have a deadline.
By January 3rd (or 5th, if aliens take over), I will have everything formatted and pretty and the proof copy ordered.
I actually feel so much better now. So much so that I even feel a song coming on…
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:
Jingle Bells for the (Canadian) University Student
Dashing through the snow
On the way to the exam:
O’er the fields I go,
Even as I cram.
My toes are getting cold,
My head just might explode;
All I want for finals
Is a doctor’s note!
Oh, doctor’s note, doctor’s note,
Won’t you bring me home?
Then perhaps I might not even
Have to break a bone.
Oh, doctor’s note, doctor’s note,
Won’t you get me out?
Otherwise, I’ll vomit,
I haven’t any doubt!
A day or two ago,
I thought I’d study right,
And then, don’t you know,
I was up all night!
My coffee did I brew,
My social life I did miss;
I thought I’d spend an hour or two
First watching more Netflix.
Now the ground is white
And it’s minus forty-one.
I have papers to write,
Do I really have to come?
It’s winter, don’t you see,
I’d rather stay inside.
Oh well, it looks like I’ve got here.
At least I really tried!
(chorus again, because we can)
I hope your Christmas was indeed merry, and you will definitely be hearing from me again before this year is out!
*heads off into the distance, humming as she goes*