Because I'm a control freak? Yes, that's an undeniable fact at this point in my life.
Because I'm a masochist? Generally no, but even I started to wonder during the seemingly endless editing process.
Because no one else would publish my work? No actually, there were a couple of other publishing opportunities available to me, so why did I self-publish?
To see if I could, is the short answer.
For those who haven't read Too Relieved To Grieve. it took a lot to persuade me to write about the collapse and demise of my marriage, but the catalyst to do so was a short, sharp kick up the backside. Plus Hayley's err... encouragement, of course. Almost as soon as I'd started writing, I was having to fight the fear: fear of prising open the slowly healing emotional wounds, fear of having to stare back into the dank abyss of grief, and of course the forever lurking fear of failure.
FOLLOW ONE COURSE UNTIL SUCCESSFUL
So how did I get through it? One step at a time, and one chapter at a time, to be perfectly honest. I find you have to keep these big goals as simple as possible, if you're serious about accomplishing them. The more cogs and machinations you have clogging up your productivity and head space, the more there is to delay or overwhelm you. As a recovering over thinker, I'm acutely aware of how capable I am of becoming the creator of my own worst misery, so that had to be stopped.
When my mind started wandering off, worrying about the more awful chapters I still had to write, I practiced mindfulness; maintained my focus on the here and now (F.O.C.U.S = Follow One Course Until Success), whilst promising myself there'd be time enough to wallow in the inevitable awfulness. Writing this book became a determined lesson in self-mastery, which is when you know you can do something negative (e.g.: procrastinate, avoid, deny), but you choose the positive alternative instead.
The process of of re-opening my old emotional wounds was indeed as painful as I'd predicted. I remember feeling strangely validated, as I sat there crying and typing, almost pleased by my accurate prediction. Until I caught myself on of course: "Okay clever girl you were right and it hurts, now what? Going to quit?" Well, that was a big, fat NO! I refuse to be held hostage by anything, but how was I going to pluck myself from the gurgling drain of needless misery? The short answer is I flipped my mindset 180°, so the writing process effectively served as a purge. I lent into my feelings, facing whatever came at me, and refusing to deny a single thought or emotion along the way; just to see if I could. And I could!
FEAR MAKES THE WOLF APPEAR LARGER THAN IT IS
For all the years I shrank away from the challenge of reopening my wounds to write this book, I was feeding the fear my power. When I eventually realised how weakened and hobbled this was making me, I couldn't tolerate it, so I stared the proverbial wolf down, felt the fear and did it any way. Perhaps out of sheer bloody-mindedness, but the answer was yes, I could do it, and now I feel strong and proud of myself. Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real, so shrinking from a challenge was a choice, and a choice I could reverse at will.
The next stage was to get the book on sale with Amazon and via Kindle. How in the hell was I going to do that, with zero training or experience?! Slowly, carefully and learning as I went, I also tripped over my own mistakes more than once. I became frustrated by the rules, regulations and parameters I was given to work within, but I just got on with it. The alternative was to quit, sulk under my duvet because my goal was too hard to accomplish, and otherwise feel sorry for myself, but how was that going to create my desired outcome? How was that going to get my book in front of people's eyes, helping them on their journey through Hell? I couldn't afford self-pity, so every time I fudged it up, I'd analyse where I went wrong, so I would only ever make brand new mistakes, and continued along the until I ran out of hurdles. Persistence prevails when all else fails, as they say.
You see, self-confidence is developed by doing the things we initially think we cannot do, so the feeling I had when I first saw Too Relieved on sale, was second only to the births of my babies. Whatever your challenge is, I urge you to actively look for ways to conquer it, as soon as possible. Do not let it keep you small and cowed; stand up and get it done. You will feel magnificent as a result, carry yourself with new found confidence, simply because you have achieved something difficult. You will expect more from yourself going forwards, because now you know you are capable and you can do anything!
Come on: Awake, arise and rest not until your goal is reached!
Best of luck