Yesterday was my birthday (yes, I'm 29 again, and planning on hanging out there until my daughter reaches her twenties. Then I'll reconsider.) Birthdays are always, well, "sensitive", for reasons I can't really explain. I spend the day counting and recounting my blessings: kind and loving husband, two amazing children, great friends, and a burning passion to put the stories that bloom inside my head onto paper (ok, screen). Best of all, everyone is healthy. I know how quickly that can change. So, blessings. So so so many blessings.
Yes, I reminded myself of all of this many, many times yesterday. I'm generally a cheerful person, and most of the time I'm able to let the bad stuff roll right off my back. But this year, for some reason, I'm feeling extra sensitive ... and I think I've figured out what's wrong. I think I'm battling the "Author Blues." For realsies.
I'm betting I'm not the first author to watch her book go live on Amazon, and then wait and watch and have a sudden desire to drink and eat lots of cookies. I'm sure I'm not the first author to wonder why so-and-so, who was so excited to buy the book, still hasn't. Or why someone else promised to write a (much needed!) Amazon review, but never did.
Is there a support group out there? Hyper-sensitive Authors Anonymous? I'm totally gonna join. After all, this must be really common for new authors. We put our hearts out there for the world to read. After that act of bravery, comes the inevitable realization that so many people just don't care. They're embroiled in their own lives and families and issues, and the fact that someone bled their insides into a story is, well, unimportant.
I cringe to think how many times I've done something similar. So, I'm vowing right now to be more sensitive to others' needs. To what's important to them. I'm sure I've missed so many opportunities to help: a kind word of support, following through on something I said I would do (but got too busy and forgot about), supporting those who are following their dreams, and encouraging others to do the same. To realize that just a few minutes of my time, or a kind word, or a little bit of giving, can make a huge difference in someone else's life. And to apologize, right here and now, for the times I've missed these opportunities. For the times I've been too focused on my life, and my own issues, to take the time for someone else. We're all human, but I hope to be a better human from this moment on.