I am holding my book in my hands. It feels surreal to see my name on the cover of an actual book. I keep looking at the cover with the title, “In Pursuit of Clouds: Stories and Lessons from a Life Lived on the Ground” and my name in large letters DEANNA BATES.
I have mixed emotions as I hold the slim volume that contains essays, poems and life lessons that I have examined over the last decade. I feel pride that I finally put my writing together in a book format, but there is fear mixed in with the pride. I feel a little confused by the fear. What is it telling me? As someone who has tried to make sense out of my life stories and situations and find the lesson that inevitably waits quietly at the core to be discovered, I sit with the fear as I turn the book over in my hands and see the picture of myself staring back at me. Then, the fear makes sense.
I fear the judgement of my writing. My personal words that have remained safely on the pages of journals are now being shared in a public forum. That thought excites – and scares – me as my slightly sweaty palms touch the book that bears my name. Questions swirl in my head…Will anyone be interested in my words?…Was it narcissistic of me to even think that my words should be published?…Will my words speak to anyone else?…Am I opening my heart to criticism?…
My stomach clenches, and yet pride bubbles around the discomfort. I have written a book. I have been a daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher and friend.
Now, I am an author. Wow:)