I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have butterflies. In my stomach I mean, not in the house. I don’t have loads of beautiful insect pets. In exactly a month today my first book, Can I Speak To Someone In Charge? will be released and the anticipation is controlling everything that I do. An anxious person at the best of times, ahead of publication I find myself unable to stop random bursts of excitement and nerves bursting out of me at the weirdest times. Making my coffee this morning I actually had to stop myself from squealing with joy when I realised the date. Walking Bua an hour later though I allowed every nerve inside me to bubble up so aggressively that I had to bundle her up and rush home after convincing myself that she, like the rest of the world, would declare me a terrible writer and want to run away. My sleep pattern is fucked, my mood is violently turbulent and my worst-case-scenario setting has reached a whole new level. I am also more proud of myself than I have ever been, more inspired than I thought possible to write better and am working with a hunger and passion for the blog that I haven’t had before. It’s a really weird time to be me.
I’ve ben given an opportunity that so many would kill for, I know that, I am so painfully aware of that. So I do kick myself as I feel anything that isn’t ludicrous excitement. I think of all the amazing hard working bloggers and writers that I follow who I know would love this opportunity and I think: why did I get so lucky? I know to a lot of people it’s just a book but to me it is my everything. When I have thought about quitting blogging and going out to get a normal job it has been the thing that has kept me going. When I have thought about my future, it has been everything really. It is the thing that I have been working towards my entire working career and yet for some reason now, I’m getting cold feet.
Reading chapters of it back (after it’s gone to print and there is nothing I can do) I convince myself that they are rubbish. I stare for too long at the cover and convince myself that I look like a lunatic. I wake up at 2am in a terrible panic and think: holy shit, what if it’s terrible???
I suppose this IS normal, part and parcel of being a first time author. But like I say, to so many people, it’s just a book. So finding reassurances is difficult. My non-writer friends are proud as hell but don’t necessarily understand how intimidating and intense the online community can be and my writer ones, well I feel like a total d-bag for complaining about what is ultimately, the dream for so many of us. There isn’t really anyone out there telling me that it’s normal. So I’m just left feeling kind of weird.
On the flip side though, there really is so much excitement. The anticipation and work that has gone into this thing is beyond anything I thought possible. I’ve been supported by an amazing team of people who have my back, I get tweets daily from people who ask me about signings and pre-orders and that’s just crazy, and then there is the little ‘omg I’ve got a book coming out any minute’ cloud that is permanently under my feet, reminding me how unbelievably fortunate I am.
When I wrote the book, I didn’t write it for the haters. I didn’t write it for the press and I didn’t write it for the sad fucks who sit commenting on Mail Online articles. I wrote it for all those women who I thought might need it, all the young girls facing crippling anxieties, I wrote it for the me of 10 years ago who was calling out for something like this. And that is something that I need to remember as the countdown begins. I KNOW that not everyone is going to love it as much as my mum did, I KNOW that the assumption is that I can barely write my own name and I KNOW all too well that some people just love to hate and won’t even give me the benefit of the doubt. But this book isn’t for THOSE people, it never was and I need to remind myself that they don’t matter.
This is my life in word form and whilst that’s scary as hell, it’s also the most exciting thing I have ever done. In the past I have let criticism ruin my day, trolling ruin my week and anxiety ruin my bloody life but I don’t want to do that with this. I want to reap the rewards of two very long years.
And I also wanna say thanks, to everyone who has supported me. My mind does do weird things sometimes and the positive affirmations, telling me that I’m not a raving loon with a dream too big for her gives me more confidence than you know. This is the most exciting time of my life and I have got to remember that no haters (whether in my head or outside of it) are going to dull my sparkle right now.
To everyone that has pre-ordered it already: THANK YOU. For those of you that would like to, please do so HERE.