If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might vaguely remember a post many years ago about National Talk Like a Pirate Day. It was titled Take Some Risks and Follow Yer Dreams, Me Harties! My pirate vernacular left much to be desired, but it did have this super cute picture of my now-teenager back when he was little and sweet and would let me take pictures of him all dressed up in his pirate swag… or just let me take pictures of him at all. I wrote that blog post exactly 8 years ago, because today, my friends, is once again National Talk Like a Pirate Day!!
After 8 years, I can FINALLY say that I followed that dream and published my book. It’s just self-published, not at all perfect, and actually illustrated by… me. Despite what I said back then about art not being my forte, I decided that I’d give it a try. And surprisingly, I found that I really, really enjoyed it! You can read a little more about The Legend of Captain McGray here, and you can find it here on amazon.
As you can tell, this book has been many years in the making. Actually, I admit lots of years it was tucked away in a folder collecting dust on a bookshelf in our spare bedroom while I focused on getting kids to eat their broccoli and not kill their little brothers. Last August I finally dusted off that folder, gathered up some art supplies, invested in a really good pencil sharpener, and made a goal to finish what I’d started almost a decade before.
When it came time to hit the publish button, I kind of freaked out. What if people don’t like it? What if they think my art looks like a first grader drew it? What if no one buys it? What if people spend all that money to buy it and then decide it was a waste? What if better writers -real writers- read it and think it’s stupid? What if…? My self-talk went something like this: “Seriously, Chelsi. Who do you think you are? You’ve only ever been a mom. You don’t know how to write. And you DEFINITELY don’t know how to draw. This was just a stupid idea anyway. Just tuck it away, no one will ever know you just wasted 4 months of your life drawing pictures at your kitchen table and sharpening colored pencils while your kids were at school.”
Luckily, I have a very logical husband. When I mentioned this idea of just sticking it back into the folder and letting it collect many more years of dust on our bookshelf, he looked at me with disgust. “You just spent four months working on a project. All you have to do is click the ‘publish’ button, and you aren’t going to see it through?? Who cares if anyone buys it. Who cares if no one likes it.Who cares what anyone else thinks! Do this for you.” So, I published it.
I wonder if there is a human alive that is a pro at being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there, not knowing what kind of reception the world is going to give is such a scary feeling. The world can be a pretty brutal place! But there are a few things I’ve been reminded of since clicking that publish button a few months ago.
I published a book. It took 8 long years, but I can now watch my kids sit on the couch and flip through the pages. How fun is that?! It’s only a book. It’s just about pirates and gardening. I don’t expect it to sell thousands of copies. Probably not even hundreds. I don’t anticipate it changing someone’s life. But the simple act of pressing “publish” has shaped mine. So, on this day dedicated to buccaneers both young and old, take some risks and follow your dreams, because the world needs YOU!
Happy National Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!!
Bonus! Here’s a sneak-peak of a few of the pages.
You are a good writer Chelsi, and I love the artwork and the story in your book. It’s fun. I say good for you! You should be proud of yourself for stepping outside of your comfort zone. Have you another story waiting to get onto paper?
Love you, Jan