Yesterday, I emailed a 32,000+ word manuscript for my first book to my literary agent and an editor.
Clicking “Send” was absolutely terrifying.
I’ve been thinking about this book idea for two years. I wrote up a book proposal, sent it out to publishers, and waited…and waited…and waited. I wrote a few other things to kill time, and kept regularly posting on this blog. There is something in me that compels me to write, whether or not it every gets published or read by anyone apart from the Divine Author.
Finally, an opportunity arose to publish, and rather quickly. The deadline for the editor was way sooner than I expected, and the manuscript was only about a quarter complete. After all the waiting and wondering and yearning, I went into writing sprint mode.
This. Book. Had. To. Get. DONE.
My early morning writing sessions were constantly being interrupted by toddlers and babies–seriously, whose crazy idea was writing a book with two kids under the age of 3?–so I took my writing on the road to various coffee shops. Fueled by the wonder of the black Americano, I pounded the keyboard of my laptop until my eyes burned and my wrists ached with the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
So when I clicked “Send,” you’d think I’d feel a sense of accomplishment. Relief, at least.
Nope. Just fear.
Because now someone else was going to read this.
This means there was no more talking about wanting to be an author, no “someday” dream any more. This was in the hands of someone who would objectively tear my dream to shreds. Not in a destructive sense (hopefully), but in order to make it better, more readable, more refined. Be gentle; it’s my first.
I am very aware that it is a bit ironic to write about this fear of others reading my writing on a blog. Yet that fear is still there, the insecurity of wanting others to like me and affirm me and be (somehow) encouraged by my ramblings and writings.
Then I remember–perfect love drives out fear. The Divine Author created me in Christ for good works, ones that He prepared in advance for me to do. That doesn’t mean my book is any good (though I really think it is), but it does mean that God is always good and always loves me. Beyond my dreams of being a writer, I have all sorts of other fears–fears of failing as a father, as a husband, as a pastor, as a man. Fear of pain, of sickness, of loneliness, of death. But perfect love drives out fear. And I’ve found that perfect love.
I’m a writer, but that’s not my full identity. I’m a child of God given a lavish amount of love and grace in Christ. Love trumps fear. This is enough.