I was thrilled when I first learned that Finishing Line Press wanted to publish my chapbook of poems late last year, until I started thinking about everything that was ahead of me: writing press releases, doing interviews, promoting book sales, scheduling and planning readings – especially readings. I am not at all comfortable with being in front of people. I’d much rather sit in the back row and listen to someone else. The enormity of the task ahead was terrifying.
Now, ten months later, I’m pleased to report that I not only survived, but have learned and grown so much from the experience. I now have two readings behind me, and have discovered that I can stand up in front of people and relate my experiences to them through my poetry. I have been very humbled by the support and encouragement of so many people that I live and work with, or who have gotten to know me through my writing. Some of you are family, friends, and acquaintances who may never have purchased a book of poetry before in your lives, but gave this one a try.
I have had wonderful feedback from many of you. I hope that my experiences with this project inspire you to try something that seems scary or even terrifying to you. This quote by Dag Hammarskjold sums it up pretty well: “Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible—not to have run away.”
I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer!