Do it afraid.

This is one of my favorite quotes. I had never heard it before until about a year ago, when I was going through a lot of hard things. Whenever I would talk about being afraid to push through those things, or even push through hard places in my writing, my bestie would always say this to me. “Do it afraid.” Three little words, but so incredibly powerful.

I’m still afraid.

Publishing a book is an amazing feeling, and it’s something I’ve been dreaming about for years. I’d be there working on my book, just looking ahead to the future and aching for the time when I was finally done with it, and could hold it in my hands and share it with people. That time is finally here, and I don’t have to look forward to it anymore, because now I’m finally living it.

It’s an awesome feeling, and I’m so glad to finally be here. But if I can be raw and honest for a moment… it’s also insanely terrifying.

There are so many unknowns. How will I ever pull this off? How will I ever make a career out of this? What if it’s not enough to support me financially? Heck, what if no one even reads it in the first place? What if people only buy it, stick it on their shelf like “That’s nice,” and never crack it open? What if they do crack it open and they don’t like it at all?

And that doesn’t even touch on the emotional side of it, of pouring your heart and soul onto the page, exposing the darkest, most hidden pieces about yourself, and then just sticking it out there for anyone to pick up. Relatives, friends, strangers, people I love and trust, and even people who look down on me or dislike me now have full access to my book, and have the ability to share in very intimate pieces of my life.

It’s utterly terrifying.

But it’s what I was called to do. To open myself up, to talk about the hard things, to shed light on things that are difficult to wrap our heads around, and to show people that they’re not alone. And to go even further than that, and bring light and hope to people who are alone or lost, and to use my own insecurities to help people find confidence in themselves. That’s a tough calling. Maybe I have a right to be scared.

It might get easier over the years, but I already know I’ll never stop being afraid. Writing a book — especially the kind of book I’ve chosen to write — is like being on a battlefield. It might get easier after a while, but it never stops being scary.

So I just have to do it afraid.

That’s what this blog will be focused on. A place where I can give you guys some behind the scenes of my writing life and of So Sang The Dawn, and where I can offer some advice and how-to’s for other struggling writers out there. But it’ll also be a place where we can talk openly about the hard things, and the things that scare us, and how to overcome those things.

Because courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s being afraid and doing it anyway.