A few months ago I attended Catherine Deveny’s “The Gunnas” writing workshop; which was fantastic, if you’re currently writing, or planning to write, and need kick-up-the-bum style motivation, definitely check it out.
I went for “inspiration” for blogging and ended up sort-of-but-not-really self publishing a children’s book within about 48 hours of attending the class. (I only made only 4 copies and I did it using a Snapfish, because they were having a sale on photo books. BUT it’s still a book! It exists! It’s mine and I wrote it!) I had written it about a year ago and has sketched the pictures; it just wasn’t in book form, it was a pile of paper I had stashed in my wardrobe.
What prompted me to take action was during Gunnas Catherine told us to write down what we would do if we only had 6 months to live; which is hard, because, there’s so many things I want to do! But the biggest thing that holds me back is my fear of; What if I’m not good enough?
What if my book is shit and nobody likes it.
But the thing is… if I only 6 months to live – who cares if it’s shit? Even if nobody likes it, nobody reads it, what does it matter? It would be such a shame though if that pile of paper never turned into an actual book.
When I ordered 4 copies I’d imagined sharing that book with everyone; perhaps making a Youtube video where I read it aloud. I thought I’d send one copy to Catherine Deveny to show that within just 2 weeks of attending her class I had a hard copy of my book in my hands. Then also I thought I should send a copy to some kind actual of publisher of children’s books… and then… I remembered more than 6 months to live (I hope) and it still might be shit. People might not like it.
Also because I published it myself, nobody has ever actually validated it’s existence, it feels presumptuous to think that I’m allowed to have a book that I’ve written without someone else saying it was good enough to publish.
So, I gave one copy to my mum, and there’s 3 copies on my kid’s book shelf.
Then a few days ago I receive an email from Catherine Deveny – sent to all the people who’d previously attended a Gunnas Workshop – to let us know she’s selling these amazing motivational posters.
My favourite lines on it are; “Perfection is the enemy of good.” and “What people think of your work is none of your business.”
Which is just so true, as is everything else on the poster (no, really, you seriously need to check it out here, it’s a great poster for writing and for life in general; I’m going to squirrel together some pennies to buy one for myself as well!
I’m afraid that my book isn’t “perfect” and that it’s not good enough to be shared (even for free) but it’s the best that I can do, right now, as who I am, with what I have – so if it’s the best that I can do, then by my own standards it’s got to be pretty good – yeah?
Which would be a shame, because despite being really nervous about showing it to anyone other than friends who are obliged to say it’s good, I am also really super proud of it.
I’ve “always wanted to write children’s books” and Ta-da I wrote a children’s book! Whether people like it or not, whether it ever exists outside of just these 4 copies, whether or not anyone else thinks it “counts” as a book – I HAVE written a children’s book. It might not be perfect (but what it?). It might not even be good (by who’s standard?) But it’s real; and it’s mine!