When I discovered that Les Stone Cold Killers was finally available for purchase on Amazon, my first feeling wasn’t joy or pride. It was terror. Here are a few of the thoughts that immediately began running through my mind despite a year spent in revisions:

Everything is misspelled.

There are at least 500 typos on every page.

It’s incoherent gibberish that will be incomprehensible to anyone but me.

It’s not incomprehensible. It’s just terrible. Now, everyone will hate me.

I’d love to tell you I’m kidding, but I’m serious as the panic attack I’m on the verge of as I write this. It’s scary as hell to share your insides with other people, and that’s what publishing is.

So how did I push through the fear?

I didn’t. Weren’t you paying attention? I’m literally sweating bullets and feeling light-headed with fear at. this. very. moment.

The fact is: fear is a constant. There’s always something to be afraid of, and most of it is beyond my control. I’m afraid of nuclear war, global warming, killer bees, piranhas…the list goes on.

But if I’m going to be afraid anyway, at least I can be afraid in service to something that I love – and I do love Perilous and Sparks, even if sharing them with the world scares me.

Perilous and Sparks are my models of courage. As I write them, I have to imagine being totally unfettered by fear. I have to imagine what it would be like to be confident and sure-footed in the face of danger. Oddly, the act of imagining these plucky girls facing villains and doomsday devices is also a way of practicing bravery. If I can imagine what dauntless audacity would feel like, I can start to work towards it IRL.

I associate the song Don’t Scream by Chinese Man with Sparks, who is fearless to the point of foolhardiness. I love the lyrics:

…Face your fears

Fears gotta be faced

Nightmares get dreamt

Dreams, you gotta chase…

When I’m starting to feel afraid, I’ll put my headphones on and blast it to get into a more daring frame of mind. Give it a try!

 

*This was a trick. If you can imagine it, you’ve already got it. Now, go out and use it! 😉