It has been SO HARD not to message everyone and ask how they’re liking my book. What they think about the book itself and whether they think I’m off my rocker forming my stories into a book at all.

Not hearing from them has been even harder. There are stories in there that I haven’t shared with anyone, ever. And sharing them with those closest to me and not hearing back about it right away is more difficult than I imagined.

Having said that, it’s not like I expected a play-by-play. And I’m not going to ask for one. [Edit: I wrote this before I sent them all a gentle reminder that I'm looking for feedback by the end of the month.] But inside, where the honesty lies, IT’S SO DIFFICULT not knowing what they’re thinking.

Book Picture - Unsplash

This will my book soon!

I know that I won’t know what everyone is thinking once my book is published, but it’s different when I know those who are close to me have my sacred words in their hands, their eyes reading my words and their hearts hopefully bonding to mine in my story.

My test readers include many different people I call my friends that I know from various walks of life. I know that they all enjoy reading and most of them have been with me through most, if not all, of the various events from my adulthood that appear in my book.

One friend finished reading it the next day!! Her feedback was good, which is great, especially since she admitted that she’s picky about what she reads. It was very unexpected that she stayed up late reading and then finished it off the next day. It makes me wonder, though, if it’s our closeness that engaged her and encouraged her to finish so quickly? Or is it good?

Will other people feel the same way?

I'm happy to be having the opportunity to have these feelings because it's preparing me for publishing. But, still, it's hard!

Before I sent my book off to my test readers, I sent them an email with an excerpt from an article I read by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). I stumbled across it when I was trying to decide who I should get to read my book, that I know would be honest and provide constructive criticism of the book’s content as well as notes on content and grammar, etc.

You can find the whole article here (How to Figure Out Who to Trust), but the following is the part of the article that resonated with me the most:

  Do I trust this person's taste and judgment?

  Does this person understand what I'm trying to create here?

  Does this person genuinely want me to succeed?

  Is this person capable of delivering the truth to me in a sensitive and compassionate manner?

...

I eventually learned that I could apply these four questions to the critics in my personal life as well. If I'm going to open myself to you, then I need to know that I can trust you, and that you understand me, and that you genuinely want me to succeed, and—most of all—that you are capable of being compassionate with your honesty. 

I know that these friends will be kind. And I was upfront about a couple of things, like how the overall structure of my book is not likely to change (unless they all come back at me saying it’s horrible and should never see the light of day) and how I was basically sending them a piece of my soul, written down for them to read.

I can feel that vulnerability creeping in at me still, picking away at me every day.

But the one thing that I haven’t felt?

Regret

My words will not be ideal for all to hear, especially people that I know and, specifically am related to. But they are just that: my own. My book is my own account of what I have overcome in my life to get me where I am today. Some are sad, some are awful, and some are really awesome, but they have all helped build me into the person that I am today.

In the meantime, I’ll be here waiting for the radio silence to end (and hoping that the feedback is good!).

Thinking positive thoughts,

Anya

Yoga Mat and Woman's Legs

I needed this today.

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