Comfort Zone


I was out of my comfort zone. I was out of my comfort zone and I didn't like it.

I was out of my comfort zone and wondered if I had done the right thing.

My book was published. A dream come true at last. A long-awaited dream that I thought would never happen. No, it wasn't a major publishing company. And no, there wouldn't be a whirlwind of book tours and appearances. I was still little-known or even unknown. I was a first-time author to those who would buy my book, friends and strangers alike. But that was enough for me. Or it had to be enough. Never mind that I wanted to be a writer since I was a child. Never mind all that. Vanity and ego had to take a back seat. (I was shy, yes, but oh, that ego.) Well, they had to be done away with altogether, actually. So I swallowed whatever it was I had to swallow and shared my joy with those that knew me best.

But as soon as the book came out, the feelings of excitement and nervousness were mingled with something else. I was a little fearful. What if they -- the readers -- saw through me and thought I was a fraud? What kind of thinking was that? Did all, or any, published writers experience similar fears and feelings? What if they read my book, a simple piece of fiction, and decided for themselves that I was a fraud? I felt exposed and I didn't like it.

If I had written a how-to book, would I still experience those same fears and trepidation? What was it that I was worried about? My writing style? Content? The way my "voice" would come through in the story? I would be published under my own name, something that I had wanted for a long time; I wouldn't be unknown. I needn't hide anymore. And maybe that was the scariest part of all. What was I so afraid of? Ah yes, that familiar question again that used to haunt me when I was a younger woman.

Just what was it that I was so afraid of?

I shared those questions with a friend and her reply was short and to the point. I was out of my comfort zone. And she was right.

A dream come true, an accomplishment. It was cause for celebration however small. And yet I still worried about how others might think of me.

And maybe it is vanity yet again that is making me write this. But why question?

I had stepped out of my comfort zone. I had finally stepped into alien territory where a long-awaited dream was concerned. It wasn't a physical location. It was a different sort of place that I was not used to. I had wanted to go there for so long. And then it happened.

And I can smile now.



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