In what ranks up there as one of the more terrifying moments of my life, I sent my first piece of original fiction off to a publisher today. Somehow, that’s even more surreal to see typed out and as I keep telling my poor friend—who is no doubt very tired of hearing me say this—I feel like I might throw up.
It’s a short story for an anthology that the publishing company is putting together and the moment I saw the theme, I knew this was the perfect story to submit for it. It’s a strong story, I had a number of wonderful people proof it for grammar and content, and it’s something I feel very proud of.
I’ve been writing for a little over four years now. I’ve done well in several contests, gotten great feedback from people whose opinion I value highly, and yet, pushing send on that email and taking the first big step into the publishing world is utterly terrifying.
The other side of that is how amazing it feels to have sent it. Taking that first huge step is something I never thought I’d do. For so many years I struggled to write, to get more than a dozen pages out, but something happened four years ago and it finally clicked for me. I’ve spent that time since then writing almost every single day. Not always a lot, or anything that I’d want to publish, but I’ve done it anyway.
I am not always the kind of person who goes after what I want. Unless it’s something that really matters, deep down, I tend to hang back and wait for things to come to me. So taking this step is huge. I remember the feeling I had when I met my husband. All I could think was “I like him so much, but I’m not ready for this.” It was an exhilarating mix of terror and excitement.
Nine years after we met, and three years—in October—after we got married, I know that taking a chance on a relationship with him was the best decision I ever made. This feels exactly the same way.
So, terrifying or not, I’m really glad I took this step. Now all I can do is cross my fingers, hope, and wait until I hear back. Oh, and try not to throw up in the meantime.