I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shocking news . . . Better? good. As you know, I have recently published my first novel, which much to my surprise has not blazed across the literary sky crashed to earth and changed our very history.
However, it has been a major catalyst of growth. Not only putting myself out to the world to be judged(ACK!), but learning to let go, trust and face my biggest fear. People have found mistakes. *GASP* I wanted to melt like Elphaba in Oz when Dorothy threw water on her.
But nothing happened.
This was huge for me, because grammar and such is my weakest point, although I must point out the mistakes are things I should have caught, a word that should be plural that wasn’t, an ‘a’ that needed to be in the sentence. Stuff like that.
One problem with being self- published is I’m the only one to blame. At first I tried to be cool about it. It was a friend who gently mentioned it to me. Kind of a whispered, hey your zipper is down comment, one of love and not wanting me to show the world my undies.
So I’m pretending to be cool, then I didn’t get enough sleep, which means my brain starts to spiral down into depression while listing every mistake I have ever made in the past twenty years. This can go on for hours.
So, I forced myself to go to yoga and hated most of the class. I have never hated yoga before, but the teacher was challenging us, and my arms began to burn during the first down dog. See why sleep is important? Then she kept doing high lunge, which is not my pose. I almost cried several times. Had I been at a yoga studio I might have but this is a yoga class at the gym and so I sucked it up.
The teacher says something about going at your own pace, and how challenging these poses are, and that she’s proud of how well we’re doing. And it clicks. It’s more important that I show up, try, and work to improve then being perfect.
I will admit, because we’re all such close friends, that I did wrestle with myself over continuing to wallow in self-pity and pouting for the rest of the day or really accepting this new found grow-up wisdom and moving on. Before class was over I was feeling good again.
Writing, revising, and publishing a book is hard work, and I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot. I now have a new plan for editing so hopefully I’ll find these before my book gets to the reader. I am not selling perfection I am selling, I hope, a great story. Now I have read my book out loud (again) and corrected the mistakes I found, because while perfection isn’t the goal, improving is. To keep my fears of failure at bay I remind myself that I wrote 98,000 words, so even if 10% of them are wrong that’s still an ‘A’ 🙂
So if any of you enjoyed my story but felt you couldn’t give it a good review because of the mistakes email me, I’d love to give you a copy of the new improved Phoenix Child for your enjoyment. I don’t promise perfection, but improvement. And for those of you who enjoyed my story and were able to overlook my mistakes, thank you.
How do you deal with failure? Have you ever been afraid of something and then had it happen?
And to lighten our Monday some fun music, these women from Russia are too cute!
You know, it is a tradition in Native American craftsmanship to intentionally leave imperfections in each piece of handcrafted work. The thought is that nothing in nature is truly perfect. You wrote and excellent book, and imperfections are nothing to fear.
I believe they also do that in the Middle East- I remember seeing something about Persian rugs always being made with a mistake because only god is perfect. Thanks Charis!!
Even professionally published novels have errors and typos in them. It happens. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal.
This reminds me of my recent post about a friend who advised me simply, “Don’t suck.” You don’t suck, Alica. Even perfect people use pencils with erasers! One of the best things about ebooks now is that you can go back and correct mistakes. However, I don’t know if I’ve ever read a printed novel that didn’t have a misspelling, punctuation error, or something. It happens whether you self-publish or traditionally publish.
Congrats on the book release! That is something to smile about. Best wishes!
Thanks Julie! It’s true mistakes are everywhere. I don’t expect others to be perfect, so I’m not sure why I think I have to be perfect.
Great post. I absolutely love this part “And it clicks. It’s more important that I show up, try, and work to improve then being perfect.” It’s such a great truth that I’m going to print that quote and hang it up by my writing desk. Thanks for posting.
Thanks Joelle, I’m so flattered that I was able to inspire you 🙂
Alica, congratulations again on the self-publication of your first novel. I’m still working through final revisions on mine and worry about my perfectionist tendencies interfering with making it to the next step. It’s nice that you can go back and fix the minor errors, but like a number of people have mentioned, most books we read have at least a few.
Love your quote, too. 🙂
Jolyse thank you so much- it’s been an amazing adventure. Setting your book free is very nerve wracking, but yes being self published mistakes are fixable, which is very nice.
I hate that oh-crap moment when I find a mistake in my pu lished books. Ebooks can be fixed, but my printer charges for changes, so the couple I later found in my print book will stay. I figure it’s in good company – most big pub books have a couple of typos too.
I haven’t done a print book yet- it’s a goal I’m working towards, but yes I can see that being worse then a mistake in an ebook. Oh well, letting go is supposed to be good for us right?
Thanks for the mention!!!