The other day I discovered a novel competition for “Fresh, fun, and strikingly unconventional love stories.” My last project, Being Jazzy, immediately came to mind. The main character, Jasmine, lives in Silicon Valley with her very eccentric (i.e. crazy) mother and sister. They are sassy, southern women who are just as quirky as they are lovable.
I hadn’t read the novel in about two years, and thinking about entering the competition, I starting rereading it. And laughing, and then laughing some more, and then it hit me: Why on earth don’t I just put this novel out myself? What’s the worst that can happen? Sure I’m worried about the novel not selling, or getting terrible reviews, or angry church ladies writing me asking why I wrote such filth, but what’s the alternative? Just let the novel sit there and gather dust? Or even better: what if I do put it out there and it totally finds an audience who loves it (and wants a sequel!)?
Screw the fear, screw the nerves, I am totally doing this. I reached out to some beta readers to help me proofread, started looking at cover designers, and told myself to just kick that doubt in the face.
Although I’m extremely nervous about this, as the framed poster proclaimed (seemingly, right to me), as I left work on Friday:
No one can determine the heights to which you can soar. And even you won’t know until you spread your wings.
Can I get an Amen?