So, for those of you who know me and the fact that I met my husband in a bar in Brooklyn, you may be assuming what Fitting, My First Was in an Irish Bar is all about. And I am here (this time only) to tell you to get your minds out of the gutter. This is not a blog about the first time I had a drink in a bar…ha.., did you think I would say sex? Well…anyway… this is about the first time I finally let someone read my chapter in the Anthology Magnificently Made and very fittingly it happened in an Irish Bar, the old Irish Pub in AC to be exact. It’s also a story about the fear of being a writer and putting something out into the world for everyone to pick at and scrutinize.
Let me go back over a year ago when my now publishers Jess and Jenn started posting on social media about how they had a dream of bringing 33 women together to write an Anthology. 33 women to share their journeys to help lift other women. Sounded like my cup of tea just by the description but as much as they called out for authors, I didn't inquire out of fear. I had started stalking this group of women a year before when I interviewed a few authors in my Vented Uplift series. A certain feeling always came over me when I chatted with them. That feeling in my belly was jealousy, not in a bad way, I’ve finally grown up at 50 and know when I have that feeling of “jealousy” it's God's way of saying you should be doing this too. And I wanted this opportunity with every countdown they posted until there was one spot left. So instead of saying I want it, I just loved it on Facebook and reasoned with myself if it was meant to be they will reach out to me. They will get my mental telepathy…won’t they?
And guess what? They got my message loud and clear as I heard the ping notification a few minutes later. It was Jess asking if anyone had reached out to me about joining? They didn't want to push me as I had a lot of shit going on, you know a cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy approaching, but they so wanted me to be a part of it. So I got my wish but I hesitated to say yes. I did not feel worthy, actually, I felt stupid and flashed back to that 4th grader alone in the basement of school sitting with headphones on in the remedial reading and writing nook still not getting there, their, they’re incorrect after months of listening to those tapes. Seriously, was that really supposed to help me?? Still don't get it! Anyway, with that cancer warrior attitude, I talked myself into taking that last spot and signed up to write a chapter in Magnificently Made. I had no idea where my cancer journey was going to go and had to take my chance at joining these amazing women. I didn’t know what my chapter would be about but decided God would guide me.
When I finally sat down to write I knew the story I wanted to start my chapter with. I thought the chapter would include a whole bunch of moments in my life along with a few business “lessons” I had learned. But, that’s not where my heart went with every stroke of the key. Instead, my writing went back to the most traumatic period of my life, way back to 1995 when our son was born. It’s something I talk about but as I wrote it I relived every scene and moment and the tears came as I typed. I realize I probably have PTSD from that first month of our son's life. The emotions had been bottled up, shoved under the rug, and put away as I had mothering to do. There was no time for emotion.
The chapter came pretty easily to me, the words just came pouring out all while finishing a box of tissues. And then, I hit send with no one else reading my chapter “Finding Your Superpowers” except my publisher and editor. That was over a year ago. Now with the release date creeping closer, my anxiety started to creep up. What was I thinking?? I am not a writer, I spell words wrong all the time. My vocabulary is weak…I think you get it...oh and my grammar…! I was spiraling!
I needed to pull the “bandage” off and get it over with and let the words that might not be perfect, but so heartfelt, be read. So on a recent quick escape to AC with my husband, with a few drinks in me for courage, I sat in an Irish bar and read him my chapter out loud over a Guinness.
I spoke through tears as we relived the moments together.
I spoke through tears as I released my words to someone else.
I spoke through tears as my husband complimented my words.
I spoke through tears at realizing my strength and courage to be judged.
I spoke through tears as I had my first reading in an Irish Bar.
I may not be the best writer, and I may not be the worst writer, but I do know that Magnificently Made is going to be a must-read book. Every fellow author I have met is incredible. We have all poured our hearts and souls into our chapters. And, if you have a story within you, please let it out for the world to hear.
I hope you will consider adding Magnificently Made to your reading list this fall and preorder it now here Pre-Order Now! There will be a story within it that will resonate with you. It will give you hope when you feel lost and alone.