It’s hard to say nice things about myself.
Maybe I didn’t speak out before because I felt shame for so many years. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and not everyone has forgiven me. There were days I hated myself that stretched into years. I believed the people that told me I was an emotional vampire who took but never gave and put my needs above everyone else’s. They also called me “crazy” as the cherry on top.
At one time I acted like that, but today I have changed.
It took me a long time to find the good in myself that was there the whole time. I wasn’t merely what other people said about me. Everything that happened in my life was a learning experience once I chose to see it that way. I’m happy with my growth and finally becoming a person who makes me proud.
When I started writing consistently a few years ago, it was mostly for myself. I never imagined anybody else would want to read what I wrote, much less feel inspired by my words. Pouring my heart out in my blog made me feel better and releasing my truth healed me. Before I knew it, I’d written a whole memoir, not just for me but for anyone who couldn’t escape addiction or a toxic relationship or survive after a divorce. I wanted them to know that if I could get through it, so could they.
Writing 300 pages is one thing, but it’s quite another to publish and promote myself. I’m going back and forth about publishing because I don’t want to hurt a few people in it by telling my story, but it’s also because I don’t feel worthy. I just started to like myself again, so it’s hard to imagine talking myself up on social media trying to promote a book.
I’m also probably the biggest introvert you will ever meet. It’s always been that way. I can count my number of close friends on one hand. It’s been really hard to make new friends in my city, and I’ve been living here for three years. I’m not as shy as when I used to hide behind my mother’s dresses as a child, but it feels like I barely grew out of that stage.
The thought of promoting myself is scary. The book is my own true story, and my whole heart is in its pages. While I want to reach people of all kinds who read it, I also don’t want anybody to notice me. That’s the crazy-making part.
I’m grateful for the people who follow me on social media, but I would feel rude bombarding them with ads for my book even though it’s what the “experts” say to do. I just started a new blog last week, but I don’t feel comfortable telling too many people about it in case they think I am spamming them. The idea of posting great things about myself and my writing makes me cringe. I understand the need to promote my book, but I would have to do a lot of things out of my comfort zone to get the word out about it.
Right now, I have 3000 followers on Twitter, mostly in the writing community. I know Twitter would be a great place for promotion, but I feel weird about doing it. I’ve never been the “look at me” girl. I make it a point not to brag about myself, and that’s exactly what I would have to do to get noticed. I’m much more comfortable reading other people’s posts about their achievements than sharing about mine. Attention of any kind makes me feel embarrassed and unworthy.
In the end, I’m just a person trying to find her way in the world. I would like to achieve things and celebrate my victories, too, without feeling shy or ashamed. Maybe there will be room for my book out there but if people don’t see it, then I’m not really helping anybody. Can I challenge my introverted self to put my heart out there and accept the outcome? It means breaking free of old habits and believing in myself for the first time in my life.
I can’t change the fact that I am introverted, but maybe I can find a way to work around it. If I’m ready to play the marketing game, I have to forget about the blame and shame that has never served me well. It means accepting the nice things people say about me and being grateful to those who have reached out. Life is all about connection, and I feel ready to participate. I’m proud of the things I’ve done in my writing career, and it’s high time I gave myself a little credit. Hiding from the world never did any good, but publishing my book just might change my life and maybe somebody else’s.
I appreciate the gift of writing. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my words. Taking chances with it just might lead to growth. The potential we all have in the world is limitless. Maybe if I’m brave and put myself out there, it will encourage somebody else to do the same. If not, at least I will have tried.
Life is short. Nobody ever became successful by hiding from it. It’s time to stop being scared and start being honest. I hope I’m up to the challenge.
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