My Friend, Fear

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Fear is a fickle friend. I mean at first glance it’s hard to imagine her as your lunch buddy, but as time goes on, you understand her subtle ways. Confession – I’m not always the bravest. I’m scared of hairy/crunchy/large bugs, heights, the dark, mice crawling over my sandals at the movies. You get the picture. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as publication for my debut mg novel, Finding Perfect, inches closer, so does fear. She visits with some regularity these days. She accompanies me when I hit send to my editor and when I venture into uncharted territory, like this week at the New England Independent Bookseller Association Author Reception. This is me at the reception hanging with Gillian Kohli, owner of the amazing Wellesley Books and president of NEIBA. (Fear aside, the night was amazing.)

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Fear tugs at my chest as the years/months to publication dwindle to days. When my daily activities of marketing, tweeting, blogging, signing, visiting school, and participating in panels, all fall outside of my comfort zone and squarely into the box marked ARE-YOU-KIDDING. But it’s in these moments that I have begun to see fear less as my-roller-coaster-going-to-throw-up foe, and more as my you’ve-got-this friend. You see, fear is what has taught that to grow I need to learn and to learn I need to step beyond what’s comfortable. I need to embrace the itchy, the awkward, the feared. I need to welcome all of it. Because it’s in those moments when the real magic happens.

So as the days to publication now number 26, I say, bring it on! The fear, the challenge, the awkward itchiness.  Let’s do this thing!

***

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Elly Swartz’s debut middle grade novel, FINDING PERFECT, comes out October 18th, 2016 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. FINDING PERFECT is about a twelve-year-old girl named Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. She happily lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her family. If you want to connect with Elly or learn more about what she’s working on next, you can find her at www.ellyswartz.com, on Twitter @ellyswartz or Facebook.

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10 Comments

Filed under Advice - Helpful or Otherwise, Anxiety, Writing and Life

10 responses to “My Friend, Fear

  1. mariagianferrari

    Go for it, Elly! We EMLAs and Emu’s have your back!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hayley Barrett

    You are not alone. I will not wear sandals to the movies. Nope. Not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Love that about you! It happened once. That was all it took for me never again to let the mice in : ) Thanks for all of it, my dear friend.

      Like

  3. katieslivensky

    Go, Elly, go!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elly Swartz

    Huge thanks, Katie!

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on dotainsworthdayauthor and commented:
    Obsessive-Compulsive? Why? A fear driven response to uncertainty in oneself needs to be overcome, and that means getting outside of yourself and getting into life. Best wishes for Elly Swartz’s new book. Try it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I so relate, Elly! Nobody warned me about pre-release fear. But, you’ve got this, friend. Buckle up and prepare for a wonderful ride!

    Like

  7. Pingback: Writing Links - Caroline Starr Rose

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