I remember learning all about the nickname “nervous nelly” when I was a kid. It meant just what it said. That you were nervous/anxious alot and it was considered a bad, sissy thing to be. Especially for a boy. Now that I am grown up, I thought I would be past all that kind of nonsense. Having finally published my first book, the scariest thing in the world is when friends/family say they have ordered a copy. I am grateful for their support, don’t get me wrong. But I would be ok if it sat on a shelf unread as well. I am scared for that first set of feedback from them. What if my talent is all in my head and it’s a horrible book to everyone else? What if they hate it? I worry about them looking at me different. like, “What was going on in his head when he wrote this crap?” kind of looks.
What I keep trying to tell myself is that I did this for me. I wanted to be able to hold a book in my hand and say, Yes, I wrote this. Well, I can cross that off my bucket list, but now that it is out in the world, that means everyone will see it. That is the source of my anxiety and sometimes that kind of thing is crippling. I was never a standout growing up, except amongst my select group of friends.
Maybe you never grow out of being a ‘nervous nelly’. Maybe you just get better at soldiering on through the maelstrom of emotions that putting yourself out there can bring.