Do one thing every day that scares you.Eleanor Roosevelt
The 2020 holiday season is rough for my family. My mother-in-law passed away a week ago from COVID and my husband and I discussed doing a low-key Christmas this year. I’m thankful we chose that before she passed away and hadn’t made big elaborate plans. We are making a tasty roast for dinner, but we didn’t exchange gifts this year which feels very odd. I plan on having plenty more Christmases in my life, so skipping one won’t matter but it has left me with a lot of free time that I don’t normally have.
I’ve spent the extra time working on editing my novel. I took a few weeks off from editing and it was nice to get back to it and see progress. I was sharing the chapters with a couple of select people for feedback as I went along. Since this is my first novel, I know I am not a fabulous writer. My goal is to entertain people and not be hyper-focused on being perfect. I had a whole timeline, and the plan worked out. I carefully handpicked my beta readers, each one for a specific purpose. I knew what order I was going to have people read it and why. My harshest critics were going to be the last readers, so I could polish the novel as much as I could without professional help before opening myself up to their feedback.
Yesterday something happened that changed my mind. I was using Wattpad to share my story with a friend, knowing that there are millions of books on Wattpad and the chance of some random person finding my story would be so miniscule that I didn’t worry about publishing my chapter before it was “perfect”. But right before bed last night, someone random read it and I got some unexpected positive feedback. That led me to consider sharing it with more friends but was uncertain if I should. It is scary to open myself up to criticism by releasing something that I know hasn’t gone through all the editing steps I originally planned. But no rush, I slept on the decision.
This morning I logged onto my computer and checked my email. Some random piece of junk mail quoted Eleanor Roosevelt “Do one thing every day that scares you.” That made me think about releasing my chapters and I snickered. But, nah, I was still thinking about it. Just in case, I brushed up my Facebook author page and was experimenting with background covers. While downloading an image for the background, the Eleanor Roosevelt quote popped up on the download page. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I couldn’t ignore it twice.