I Get By with a Little Faith in My Friends…


For the past week, I have been in fear mode.  As I get closer and closer to publishing Happiness as a Second Language, I get more and more afraid of everything and anything, which is so unlike me that I’m not even sure how to process it.

I’m afraid there are embarrassing errors that I missed in the 40-50 times I’ve proofread it, I’m afraid that the print versions will have printing glitches, I’m afraid the eBooks will not display the tables and graphics correctly, I’m afraid no one will buy it, I’m afraid people will buy it and hate it, I’m afraid people will buy it and hate me, I’m afraid bad things will happen as a result of failure/success/honesty/self-promotion/you-name-it.

So I’ve had to screw my courage to the wall and just move forward, and guess what?  Amazing things have happened.

First, I built a Facebook page for the book and my awesome friends immediately started Liking it, and spreading the word to others to do the same.  I got over 100 Likes in the first 24 hours (which I’m told is pretty decent).

With that little victory under my belt, I sent a pre-awareness email about the book to a very small list of friends and family, asking them to buy it as soon as it’s available to help boost early sales.  The response to that has been amazing, and it gives me courage to do even more promotion as we count down the days (yes…days!) until the book is for sale on Amazon.   Better yet, a lot of the responses have included great advice about other people to contact or different ways to promote and sell.

And one more great thing happened as a result of putting myself out there – I got a negative reply from someone.  Turns out, there is a person in my life who I offended a few years ago, and getting an email from me last night asking him to buy my book was the opening he needed to let me know that.  This is awesome on two fronts – first, it gave me the chance to apologize for something I didn’t even know I’d done, and second, it prepared me for the reality of going public with anything risky (and this from someone who hadn’t even read the book!)  Now, I’m starting to realize that not everyone will love me or what I’ve done, and that won’t kill me.  It might sting a little, but this is a good chance to start training myself how to focus on the positive and let the rest wash away.  Bad vibes won’t kill me, and what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

It’s all so unreal, but maybe this thing won’t be a disaster.  All my fears have been unfounded.  I have hundreds of people in my life from all sorts of past jobs, cities, schools, volunteer activities, etc., and it turns out, they are willing to support my little endeavor into authorship.  How amazing is that?  And why am I so stunned?

My friends and family are amazing and I love them.  More importantly, I am blessed, grateful, and so very HAPPY that they love me.  Thanks guys!

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2 thoughts on “I Get By with a Little Faith in My Friends…

  • Robert Renick

    Valerie, your efforts moving this forward continue to inspire. Mistakes and redo’s are part of the process. There will be some and they will get worked through. There will be some who love, some who won’t, but for the few who your style and words will truly speak to, you will make a difference and the effort will be worth it. Can’t wait to read it!