I know most writers can relate to how I am feeling. These emotions go by many names, jitters, butterflies, heebie-jeebies, etc. I am talking about the anxiety you feel when you are ready to launch a new book. I am at the final stages and most likely within days of launching my second book, What Did I Do?
It was a year ago that I published my first book, One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. I do not remember feeling this way, yet the apprehension was there. First, I worried if anyone would read it. If they read it, what kind of review would I receive? I made mistakes with the first one. The biggest was I did not have it professionally edited. I won’t do that again. I also waited too long to begin a marketing program. I will discuss these topics in future posts.
I have learned a ton of things since then. I have followed many blog and book writers here on WordPress. I have listened to their advice and taken notes. I tried my best to apply the things I learned. I can only hope it will be received well.
Writing my manuscript well is only part of the anxiety. I am more apprehensive about the genre of the book. Two of my earlier post, (Memoir vs. Fiction – Revisited and Enticement – Second Book), I revealed my genre was a memoir about my own child abuse. It is not an everyday subject matter and like my first book, it will have a limited audience.
Child abuse is a topic most people would just as soon not discuss. However, for those of us who experienced it, we cannot escape it. Due to the stigma attached to child abuse, most victims prefer not to admit or speak of its effects. It was that way with me for years. Many brave individuals before me have crossed the threshold to reveal the scars and broken lives. My story is no worse than any others’ are and mine is minimal compared to many victims.
So why discuss it or even write about it? The public would rather ignore the atrocity than have to deal with it. Today is no different from when I grew up. When people witness the offense, they turn away. Consequently, the proliferation of child abuse continues. When individuals say nothing or do nothing, they are condoning the offense. They contribute to the continuation of the abuse.
What happens when we continue to overlook the abuse? Usually the abuse and its effects on the child escalate. What are the consequences of Child abuse? There are hundreds of sources and thousands of articles written about the short and long-term effects of child abuse. I copied part of an article put out by The National Academic Press.
“The consequences of maltreatment (e.g. child abuse and neglect) can be devastating. For over 30 years, clinicians have described the effects of child abuse and neglect on the physical, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral development of children. Physical consequences range from minor injuries to severe brain damage and even death. Psychological consequences range from chronic low self-esteem to severe dissociative states. The cognitive effects of abuse range from attentional problems and learning disorders to severe organic brain syndromes. Behaviorally, the consequences of abuse range from poor peer relations all the way to extraordinarily violent behaviors. Thus, the consequences of abuse and neglect affect the victims themselves and the society in which they live.”
In the overall scheme of child abuse, my writing is miniscule. Just like others before me, I hope to keep the issue and its problems cognizant in the public. I want those that did not experience it, know what it was like to live with it daily. For those that did experience abuse, they can identify with my experiences and gain some camaraderie in healing.
Therefore, my prepublication jitters go beyond the level of writing and the issue of my genre. By publicizing my story, I have opened the door to a world previously I wanted kept closed. I am admitting to my frailties and psychological history. I’m admitting that I spent years in denial that I had problems. It tells everyone that I suffered from guilt, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. I have shown everyone the almost healed wound and now I have scratched off the scab.
My desire is for you to follow my story of survival where I felt invisible. Follow my story where I sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow my desperation for love from anyone. Follow my story and help me answer the question,What Did I Do?