For more than a year now, I have been writing a book tentatively titled “A is for Anxiety: My Life as a Worrywart”, all about what it’s like to live with an anxiety disorder, or at least what it’s like for me to live with one. The chapters follow the alphabet, so A is for Anxiety, B is for Benzodiazepines, etc. etc., yada, yada, yada all the way to Z.
I think it’s got some good information for anyone living with anxiety. After all, I’ve been walking this path for a long time now, and I’ve figured some stuff out. It has humour, because sometimes we just need to lighten up and have a laugh, especially when the alternative is so dark and gloomy. And finally, I guess it’s about self-awareness and self-acceptance, because really, don’t we all need a bit more of that?
But here’s my problem. I’m nearing the end of the writing part of this book (I’m currently on Chapter 16, P is for…) so publishing and promoting are the natural next steps. But whenever I think about that, my breath gets shallower, my shoulders start moving toward my ears, and I can feel those anxious butterflies in my stomach. I just don’t want to do it.
You see, as some of you know, I self-published a children’s book about five years ago. A local business threw a launch party for me. I visited shops and asked them to carry it, visited schools and talked to a lot of kids about it. Managed to get it into Chapters and spent a day walking around their busy store, introducing myself and telling strangers about it. And I did well, selling over 500 copies in a couple of months.
Then, one night around 2am, I awoke abruptly, having one of the biggest panic attacks I have had in years. Needless to say, it freaked me out. I promptly stopped all promotion of said book and spent the next several months trying to get back on an even keel, which I eventually did. About 600 of those wee books now sit in my basement gathering dust, but nothing or no one could persuade me to get back on the road, hawking my wares (or ware). Nope. Not going to happen
So why, you ask, would I write another book? Well, like the last one, it showed up in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone until I started writing it down. So I did. And here I am. But this time, I’m going to do things differently.
I’ve decided I’m not in a rush to publish. Instead, I’m going to share the unedited draft copy of my book on my blog. Each week I’ll post a chapter until I’m done, or until I run out of written chapters. If that goes well, maybe I’ll publish it. Or maybe some kind publisher will step forward and do it for me. (Ha) But by using this approach, I don’t have to talk to people I don’t know, asking them to buy my book. I don’t have to shmooze. And biggest perk of all, I don’t have to leave home.
I would love some feedback from you though, dear reader. Is what I’ve written helpful? Do you think an anxiety sufferer would benefit from reading it? Would someone living with an anxious person learn a thing or two? Please share it with your friends and family, or anyone that you think might need to hear that they’re not alone.
And if you don’t know me personally, I want to hear your thoughts even more. As much as I love the biased comments of those who care about me, I know that most of them will tell me that I’m a star even if my writing stinks. So I really need a few thoughts from strangers. But only about the book. Let’s not get carried away.
Oh, and if you have any kids on your Christmas list who like to read, I have about 600 ideas for you. It’ll just take a second to dust them off.