ESSENCE Countdown: Taking the Plunge

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Westmoreland
Hello, everyone! My debut novel ESSENCE's launch date is creeping ever closer: t-minus three months, two weeks and counting... Yipes!

In the flurry of everything that has been happening lately, I find myself being pulled backward and forward at the same time. I often think about my childhood self--that wiry, bow-legged five year-old who proudly decided she was going to be an author before she even learned how to read. I also think about my thirty-two year-old self--the present-day me who seems collected and controlled on the outside, but who is absolutely SPINNING OUT at the realization that my original life's dream is looming just on the horizon.

What if I fail?

What if everybody in the entire universe hates ESSENCE?

What if I'm incapable of becoming the person my five year-old self so confidently believed I would be?

These are scary thoughts, and they have been rattling around in my head ever since my amazing agent Hannah Bowman sold ESSENCE to Amanda Rutter and the crew at Strange Chemistry Books last summer. Here are a few more:

What if I'm a fraud?

What if I can't do this?

What if I let everyone down?

But you know... I'm beginning to realize that sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith. I poured my heart and my soul and my guts into ESSENCE--more-so than I did with any other book I've ever written. And I had a blast writing it--so much so that I would miss an entire night's sleep sometimes. I've never felt so possessed by a story before, and I've never let a book write itself the way I let this book write itself.

And you know what else? I'm sure some people are going to hate it. That's the truth of our reality, and there's nothing I can do to change it. So... Why worry? People will buy it or they won't; they will like it or they won't.

At the end of the day, that doesn't change the fact that I did this. I chased this dream and pinned it down before it could slip away. I decided I would regret holding back more than I would regret failing spectacularly.

So... Here goes. Time to take the plunge.