A Year in the Life … it’s the name of a little tv special that I’ve watched so many times over the years I’ve lost count. I find that I need to watch it when I get to certain points of writing. It’s something that has connected with me and that I look to when I need a boost.
Sometimes it’s for the inspiration I need to keep on writing, to believe that what I have to write matters and is something that others would like to read. Sometimes, it’s just to remind me of what is possible when one keeps their mind on the job and sticks at it even when there are doubts. Sometimes, it’s to be reminded how someone can go from the lows in their life to the reach incredible highs, through self-belief, perseverance, and inner strength.
It also reminds me that everyone has pressures, even the most incredibly talented and famous fear that things will be lost. It helps me put things back in perspective. I have a book launch coming soon, and I can feel the pressure I put on myself mounting more each day. Have I wasted my time? Have I done my best? Will anyone read it? Will anyone care? Have I found my own Harry Potter? Have I failed? Was it worth it? Was it worth it? Was it worth it?
But, by watching A Year in the Life I am once again reminded that I don’t know what real expectation and pressure are. I can’t imagine how much pressure J.K. was feeling when she finished and launched the final Harry Potter book. It must have been enormous, overwhelming, and terrifying. The thing is, she was feeling all the same things I do. She must have wanted to run away for fear of failure, fear of judgment, and fear of disappointing her readers. But she persevered and saw it through with class. Success comes from learning and growing, and persistence.
So, in my own little writing world, until (as if) I am as successful as J.K., I need to remember that the pressure and the fear of failure come from me. The reality is that in a sea of books that swamp the earth, whether I release a new book or not won’t even cause a ripple or a swell. There won’t be protests, or news stories, or covert surveillance by paps. At this point in the process, no one but me is as invested in this book. It’s up to me to step up and face this self-inflicted pressure head on. I can only hope that enough people will discover and like my work to give me the feeling that it was all worth it.
Take the time to grab a coffee, sit, and relax to watch this. It may be just what you need.