Rumpled: It's Kind of Like Getting Married

RumpColorEmilyletterss AlternativeIt’s official — I have a release date set for Rumpled, my novella retelling the story of Rumplestiltskin, and most everything is in place for it–except, perhaps, my nerves.

Rumpled will be available to the public on March 3 (my birthday — early downloads would be a great present!), and right now I’m sending out review copies. I have a few blogs lined up to do features and some pre-release reviews in the works.

When I first started getting responses from my group of beta readers, I should have been elated. I am blessed to have some very supportive fairy-tale lovers in my life. But instead, I felt incredibly raw, vulnerable, and … terrified. Making my intentions public made them more real than they had been before. For a moment, I thought I couldn’t remember ever being so scared.

That’s not true, of course. The feeling was actually quite familiar.

It’s the same way I felt in the weeks leading up to moving away from home to go to college.

It’s the way I felt when I accepted my first post-college job, which took me even further from my family than college had.

It’s the way I felt as I prepared to get married.

All of these were dividing lines in my life, leaps of faith I had to make praying that I could either fly or that at least there would be a soft landing. Each of these experiences has brought me infinite growth and blessings, enriching my life story like the world’s best compost.

And that’s why I think this fear is a good thing.

It means I’m doing something that matters.

It means I’m taking the step, at last, from something that is part of my dreams to something that is part of my reality, making the move from “in my mind” (where I spend too much time) to “in the world.” I don’t know what lies on the other side of that publication line on March 3, but I do know I’ve never regretted moving forward despite my fears (and I have a lot of fears.)

I also realize that much of the uncertainty and vulnerability I feel comes from this being my first self-published work. When I’ve published in anthologies and with a small press, it was always under the protection of someone else. The editors. The publisher. I was just one small piece, and if the public didn’t like it, at least someone besides me had believed in it to get it to that point.

But I guess me and a few beta readers believing in it is as good a place as any to start.