After I had my last baby in 2010, I remember having a strange feeling – knowing she was our last, I wondered if I would ever feel those emotions of creating something really life changing again.
It was a kind of a ‘Now what?’ feeling.
Well, my newest “baby” is under creation, but this time it’s a book! The working title is the Parenting Secret Mission Society and it will include essays, journal prompts and “parenting secret missions” to help you get more calm, connected, and resilient in your parenting. While I hope it will be life changing for the parents who read it, I know it is life changing for me to create it.
Going through this process I keep facing fears and doubts – am I good enough to do this? I’m too disorganized/distracted/inexperienced [insert any other doubt filled word here] to write a book! I don’t know how to do this! Why did they accept my proposal? How could they send ME a contract? Don’t they realize I don’t know what I’m doing!?
Hahaha, don’t those sound like some of the overwhelming feelings of becoming a parent for the first time?
Thankfully I actually have the birth of my third child to look back on for guidance. She was my easiest child to birth, and the biggest lesson I learned from her was that sometimes, you just have to get out of your own way. Her birth was fast and much less painful than the other two kids and I couldn’t believe I was really having her, right then. I had to shut down all those doubts and let my body do the work. It taught me that life changing transitions don’t always have to be terribly painful. Many transitions certainly are difficult, but transitions also can include feelings of ease, delight and surprise if we let them.
While writing this book I have been feeling anything but ease. If I have an essay I can put in the book, I think I must have chosen the wrong one. I worry about the structure of the book, the premise…everything. I’ve never written a book before and, boy, the biggest nemesis I’ve been facing isn’t my writing, it’s my doubts about being able to pull that writing together. I’ve been feeling gloomy and ‘not enough’.
This last month of writing I’m finding my way again, and realizing that my daughter’s birth is the lesson I need to focus on.
I have a lot of writing to pull from (from drafts to blog posts to courses and emails). It is ok to use and expand on that writing. After all – my blog is the reason Penguin contacted me in the first place, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel; I just need to put it together in a way that makes sense.
So, I’m reminding myself that just because some things are easy (pulling out and polishing old essays for instance), doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It seems silly to have to remind myself of this and maybe that isn’t always the creative advice we need. For this book though, which is based on all the writing I’ve done for the past five years…I really just need to have faith that YES, people want to hear from me, yes Penguin really DOES want to publish my book and I have a lot of essays and secret mission already written. And I finally that’s really starting to happen.
I just need to get out of my own way and get on with it.
Anyhow – I’ll be in touch with updates about the book as publishing gets nearer. Make sure you’re on my email list so you can keep in touch. You can sign up at the bottom of my blog below.