Today is Wednesday - for anyone just waking up or crawling out from under their rock. On Wednesdays I usually write about classics or I post a quote about classics or classic writing or by a classic author or well... you get the general idea. Today I didn't do that but I tried.
As much as I have a whole bookcase devoted to the classics and as much as I have read them and written about them, I still have to look stuff up to continue to bring you new or insightful information or quotes. I have to look the quotes up because despite my superb memory I don't always get things right. I could jot down what I remember being a famous quote from a famous author because I do know a few - quotes that is not famous authors - but I would probably not get it word for word correct.
So there I was surfing the internet - with a legitimate purpose in mind - or so I tell myself whenever I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the web. I came across a lot of quotes because, well, people like to talk. Unfortunately, not all quotes I happen upon inspire me to write anything to go along with them. Or I don't feel the quote is particularly worthy of sharing. Yes I just said it, not all things said by famous people is worthy of sharing or even having been said in the first place. Some people should remember that old quote attributed to Mark Twain "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Finally at some point in my vigilant search for something to share with everyone, I found the following picture and quote. Something about it just spoke to me. Not in that creepy disembodied voice in the darkness kind of way but in a 'hey, listen up this applies to you' sort of way. Not that I often have conversations with disembodied voices in the darkness... I'm just sayin'.
"A boat is safe in the harbor. But this is not the purpose of a boat." - Paulo Coelho
As it happens, I finished my book completely last night. I even printed it all up and gave it a final read through to be certain I hadn't missed any mistakes. I had thought I was finished some time back but there were lingering doubts about a few things. Those lingering doubts kept me from publishing then. I am glad they did because after giving it some time and distance and returning to it, I realized what was bothering me most and I fixed it. I fixed the problems and now I am finished and happy with the result. No more lingering doubts. Not really.
The only thing remaining is my hesitation to put it out there. It's one thing to show it to a few people for criticism and getting helpful feedback. Those people genuinely want to help and their criticism is usually constructive. The problem is that once it is published, it is out there for the whole world to see and to judge and to be less than helpful or constructive. The simple fact is, not everyone will like it. That is a truth for all books. That doesn't make it any less difficult a fear to get over.
Then I saw this quote and I was reminded that I chose to be a writer. I don't sit around and write things just to amuse myself. Granted a lot of the things I write are things I find amusing but for the most part, I write things I enjoy and then I put them out there for the public to see. Day in and day out I post things on this blog, my blogs, twitter, facebook and reddit because I enjoy sharing what I have written. I write because I want to share what I have written and I want people to enjoy reading it.
It is odd to me that I have no problem posting blog posts and I have no fear about it whatsoever. If people read it they read it, hopefully they will like it and comment. I live for comments and knowing that people have read what I wrote but I have no fear about it. I don't sit around biting my nails wondering if people hated it, if they are going to leave negative feedback or bad reviews. I don't know what it is about an actual book that is so much different. Maybe it is the amount of effort that goes into creating a book. Maybe it is because I feel there is more on the line. It could be because if they don't like my blog posts there will be another one tomorrow to possibly change their mind but a book takes a lot longer and I don't churn one of those out every day.
The point is, as I said, I chose to be a writer and I need to write and put it out there. Having written a book is great but a book is meant to be read.