Anticipatory Vulnerability

In just 7 weeks my book will start getting into the hands of actual human people. 

People are going to read it. 

People with opinions and critiques. 

As I march closer to that date, I feel all of this anticipatory vulnerability about my book going out into the world. It can be a very squirmy, uncomfortable feeling. Some days I’d like to just crawl in a cave, wake up in a year and skip all the uncomfortable parts. 

Man, it makes me appreciate the inner work that so many people do to write, create, dream, stretch, and risk. If I’m honest, nearly every step of the way there have been new layers of vulnerability that made me falter; from submitting my book proposal to the editing and rewriting, to the audio recording, and definitely inviting people to pre-order it, whew! 

Take a minute now and think of a book or show that you’re enjoying. Someone put their heart out there for that thing to get created. Every creative piece we enjoy has a story of risk and love behind it. I’m appreciating it all in a new way. 

As I contemplate all of this, I realize one important truth:

 I’ll take vulnerability over regret any day. 

I’ve given up on enough projects in my past to know that I didn’t want the regret of not finishing this time around. And I don’t think that there’s any path forward worth taking that doesn’t bring some sort of tension.

So, to all of you authors, artists, speakers, leaders, and creative types–my hat’s off to you; vulnerability is hard! And for anyone who may be reading this today who is considering backing off because the way forward feels to vulnerable, I hope you’ll pause, take a breath and carry on. The world is a better place when we all are willing to bring our special sauce out into the open.

4 Responses

  1. Hey Janice,

    Firstly, a big congratulations. I can’t wait to read your book. And I really needed to hear your message today, so thank you so much. I’m heading up to a conference tomorrow, hoping to do some networking and hand out my new brochures. I too want to crawl into a cave, cancel my trip, not say anything once I’m there. How crazy is that? Instead, I will march on, and trust that all is well, and I’m exactly where I need to be, doing what I’m meant to do just being me and offering what I can to others. Thanks again. Much love, Sue

  2. Hi Janice!

    What an amazing piece! You have touched the soft heart of what is behind all creative endeavors. And in that process, enticed us all to eagerly await your book!

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