Facing our fears...whatever they are

Sixteen days from now I face one of my greatest fears. Sitting behind a table with a pile of my books, in an actual bookstore, hoping like crazy someone will show up and actually buy one of my books. But, you know what I’m starting to learn? This fear is a result of something far deeper. It’s the same thing that feeds my anxiety of getting out from behind my PC and venturing into the world as a bona fide author. A real, honest-to-goodness author. I began to understand this fear a bit more after my first meeting with a bookseller. Suddenly I was incredibly shy (more so than my natural shyness), my heart was pounding, my face was burning – all because I was about to admit I was an author.

You see, the problem is embracing this new identity, this great, dream-come-true identity that I have longed for since a child. And suddenly I’m afraid to step out into the light and admit what I am. An author. A writer. A creative person.

I have no advice, no report from the trenches since I’ve yet to leave the confines of my peaceful home, but if you’re like me and you find yourself approaching a milestone you’ve worked hard for, whether it be sending out that very first query, or pitching to an agent, or going to your first book signing, and you find yourself more shy than normal, anxious, afraid, or all of the above, then remember this:

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
Talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
People won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people
Permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

--Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

So my greatest fear is not the booksellers. It’s not a book signing, or a reading in front of a hundred people, or the fact that I’m a naturally shy/introverted person. It’s an inability to believe I have the right to be successful, to believe that I am worthy and deserve this, that I am ‘powerful beyond measure’.

So when I’m sitting behind that table, I’m going to keep telling myself that it’s okay to let my light shine.

Hmm. Maybe I should hand out sunglasses.


  1. Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for being here.

    I'd like to apologize for some wonky formatting. I don't know if it's my computer or Blogger, but it looks kind of weird in some spots.

  2. Kelly,
    Thanks for the inspiration! Best wishes for a successful book signing. I have a feeling you'll do great. :)

    ~Tess Thieler
    "The Stranger Behind the Kiss"

  3. That was awesome, Kelly! I printed off that poem and posted it next to my computer.

    Good luck with the signing--it'll go better than you imagine, I know it.

  4. Hi Kelly :)
    Thank you for sharing.
    I have experience in squashing the fear and stepping out of the comfort zone.
    It's definitely worth it.
    Love & Best Wishes,

  5. Great post Kelly!
    I really empathize with your fears. Part of my own fears are based in the fact that I've spent my whole life being 'that girl that did as she pleased and didn't give a shit what anyone thought about it.' Now, suddenly, I HAVE to care, and I WANT to care because I think I can be successful. I fear being too compliant and at the same time, too resistive. But I'm getting better and each thing I do out in the world improves me more. :)

  6. Yet another little fear: that people would think I was a rambling nut. :D So glad you guys like the post!

  7. Kelly,

    Great post. You've already crossed one swinging bridge, what's one more? ;) Seriously though, you're going to have so much fun meeting the people who dig your book, you'll forget all about being scared and when they leave your table, instead of thinking you were rambling, they'll think 'She's so friendly! I love it when authors are nice!' and they'll recommend you to any and everyone they meet ;)

    Good luck :)

  8. I need to let you all know that Kelly just sold her first YA book to Simon and Schuster--she just announced it on one of my loops.

    Woo hoo! Way to go, Kelly, you soon-to-be multi-published author, you.

  9. Thanks, Becky! What a crazy day!

    And Ms. Danica, I believe there is a certain book making its way to you right now. ;-)

  10. Loved the blog, Kelly! Best of luck to you...and congrats on selling your first YA! :)

  11. Kelly, thanks so much for stopping by here. You are very inspirational.


  12. Thanks for sharing, I can empathise with your fears, so it's great to know I'm not on my own.

    I love visiting your site because you are inspirational.