Yesterday, I posted on Facebook how much I hate cold calling. It is the worst. I would rather clean the silverware or something equally terrible than call someone I hardly know, or don’t know at all. It is the fear of rejection, the fear of bothering someone, the fear that I’m not good enough. And while I’m more comfortable with email, that reaching out across the ether without knowledge of how it will be received has the same feeling as job or house hunting — I would rather do anything else.
But, I wanted to go out east again this summer. MAUD is a book that takes place both out east (PEI) and out west (Saskatchewan) , it is important to bring her home and share with the community, particularly because they have been so supportive of the book. And, from some Twitter conversations I had while I was there in May, it seemed like a good idea.
But I was nervous. What if it was just “Twitter talk?” What if people were just being nice? What if it was just something people were saying? What if they do say yes then I have do go and do this?
Two weeks ago, while I was dealing with the questions of “What comes next?” (still am…) a wise woman sent me this:
And I think it rings true here, because once I decided to commit (buy a plane ticket, rent a car and figure out places to stay), things did start to fall into place.
But first I felt my way around, like a first date of getting to know the person, to see if you will be compatible. Connecting with some friends who live there for advice and they were so generous with their help, even reaching out to bookstores on my behalf. So grateful to Dave Atkinson, Elizabeth DeBlois, Sarah Emsley, Sheree Fitch, Roseanne Gauthier, Dan Macdonald, and Sarah Sawler, I couldn’t have done this trip without their help (and in some cases the use of their couches and guest rooms.)
And then a crazy thing happened…Many bookstores said, ‘Yes!’ Some did say, “No,” but the world didn’t fall apart and new opportunities presented themselves. In fact, I have 10 events lined up in Wolfville, Halifax, River John, Charlottetown, Summerside and Park Corner. I know! I cannot believe it myself. I’m calling it #MAUDONTOUR (just came up with it now) and you can see all of the details here.
Putting this tour together was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done (next to getting my MFA and, well, WRITING AND PUBLISHING A BOOK!) Putting oneself out there is not easy, nor does it guaranteed success, but taking that first step led to surprises and possibilities I couldn’t have predicted. Learning to trust in a positive outcome and being ready to say,