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Hard Things

I’m submitting two of the books I’ve written to the Canadian Writing for Children Competition. I might even submit a third, but with the May 31 deadline looming up in front of me, it feels less possible with each passing day.

It isn’t that I don’t have the books completed. At last count, I had 3 middle grade novels, 1 young adult novel, 2 young chapter books, and 4 picture books completed on my cloud. I don’t have a hard time writing books.

But, I have an incredibly hard time putting my work out into the world.

I love my characters, as they tell me their stories, I become invested in them and they become a part of me.

This process is immensely rewarding for me. I get to live out amazing adventures and find all the hidden magic in the world. But, It’s hard to take the worlds I’ve discovered and the characters I love and submit them to the scrutiny of others.

You might point out that I write this blog each week and throw my words out into the world. In my blog, I often make myself quite vulnerable and talk about things that aren’t easy.

If I can do this, then I should be able to put my other work out there too, right?

I was kind of hoping when I started this blog that this would be the case. I kind of hoped it would be like exposure therapy and that by putting words out into the world each week, it would get easier to face the daunting wall of rejection.

Over the years, it has gotten easier to press publish on my weekly blog. I’ve gotten less anxious about the reactions I’ll receive and who might end up reading my work.

But, if I’m being honest with myself, it’s not because the exposure therapy has worked. It’s because I haven’t really put my blog out there.

I mean, yes, I write a blog almost every Tuesday, and I publish it to my website and send out an email to my faithful, amazing, lovely readers, I even post it onto Facebook. 

But I don’t push it any further than that. I haven’t really tried to get new subscribers since I first started my blog. I haven’t contacted organizations that work with queer people, or people with autoimmune disorders or anxiety disorders to see if my blog could reach a broader audience. I haven’t even put a little button on the page where people read my blog that asks them to subscribe (to be honest, I don’t even remember how people can subscribe to my blog…)

I’ve stayed safe.

I’ve stayed afraid.

The thing is, that afraid is really not the most fun place to be. 

So, it’s time to try again.

Spring is the time to plant seeds and sprout new things and so, I am putting my words out into the world.

And maybe it won’t get easier. Maybe rejections are just hard and will stay hard no matter how many I get.

But maybe I was made to be able to do hard things.

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