I need a new word to be invented. If it already exists, someone please give it to me.

This word needs to encompass ALL of the following…

A minor panic attack.

Mixed with incredible excitement.

With a dash of worry.

And a pinch of regret.

And a spurt of exhilaration.

Throw some relief into it.

And a sudden fart.

Okay, no fart. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. But all that other stuff? Yes, please. Find me a word that takes care of it all.

I have been getting my book ready to self-publish (no, this is NOT an announcement for it, yet). The truth is, I could have had it out to you all months ago. But I’m scared shitless. This book was done and in the hands of all the major publishers two and a half years ago. Editors were fighting for chances to bid on it. Several of them got on the phone and asked me not to sell it to anyone until they had a chance to make an offer. I thought life was going to be good.

Then, no offer ever came in. Not even one. Instead, publisher after publisher came back and they all said the same thing. It’s too risky. It’s not the normal memoir. We don’t know how to market it. Bla bla bla.

Too risky. What the hell does that even mean. I didn’t know until I had all of those emotions just now…

A minor panic attack.

Incredible excitement.

A dash of worry.

A pinch of regret.

A spurt of exhilaration.

Relief.

And a sudden fart.

Okay, fine. The fart really did happen. Stop pressuring me about it. You caught me. Geez.

Anyway…

My agent held my book hostage for the full two years he had the rights to sell it. He was so sure, based on the initial excitement, that it would sell, all the way to the very end. And in July the contract was up and I got it back.

And I didn’t publish it because… why?

Because it’s so scary.

So much of my life and mind and soul is in the book, wrapped in stories that will make you laugh cover to cover, but oh my God. There is too much, maybe. Too much information. Too many things I’ve done which I’ll never be able to take back after this. Too many moments of great weakness. Too much of a past life I spent most of my life concealing. Just… too… ugh… Much.

You may have noticed about 2 ½ years ago that my blog changed quite a bit. So many fewer stories from my past. So many fewer posts meant to challenge and change the heart and spirit. So many fewer posts revealing the heavy and uproarious journey life often is. Why? Because…

Writing this book took it out of me, friends. It drained me. Top to bottom. I wrote this book for me. I had to write this book. I had to free myself of some very big demons and voices from my past. Yes, writing this book initially emptied me so completely that I have only had brief moments where I could dig in and find such words since.

There’s this one chapter in the book. God. It’s by far the biggest reason I’m so nervous about releasing this book. It’s a line of dirty laundry that could lead itself halfway around the world and right to my doorstep. There are other chapters. Bleh. Why did I write this book.

It sounds so heavy. A few parts of it are. But this book is hilarious. I don’t say that in a self-aggrandizing way. It is.  Every person I’ve had read it up until today told me they laughed cover to cover. I’m confident in that part of it. So why am I so nervous? Why am I having a hard time publishing this?

I suppose it’s because I know that once it’s out there for the masses, I can never take any of it back. I suppose it’s because my conservative family will never look at me the same when they read the occasional f-bombs, or hear about certain sexual escapades, or learn of those parts of my past I’ve never been forthright about. I suppose it’s because some people will inevitably rip it, and me, to shreds. I suppose it’s because I fear it could totally flop when I’ve put so much into it. And even worse, I fear it could be wildly successful when I’ve put so much into it.

And so I keep making excuses, and putting it off, and hoping certain parts of this book will have endings which rewrite into better endings before I publish it. But they haven’t, and they won’t, and I just need to man up.

Oops. I just farted another sudden fart because my anxiety and nerves are through the roof right now. Don’t laugh at me. It’s a very not so real overly real condition. I call them narts. Nervous farts.

Anyway, Today I sent my book to 100 random people who promised to read it before the weekend…

Nart.

And they promised to review it by the end of the weekend…

Nart.

And they promised to be {gulp} honest about it…

NART.

I sent it to them. All of them. And now I wait.

I’m waiting for them to finish. Nart. And I’m waiting for the last couple platforms to approve it. Nart. And all that waiting is making me feel…

Hm. What is it making me feel, exactly…

SEE?! I need a word for it!

A minor panic attack.

Incredible excitement.

A dash of worry.

A pinch of regret.

A spurt of exhilaration.

Relief.

And a…

Oh, whew. No nart that…

Nope. I spoke too soon. That one was kind of cute though. Like an awkward squawk on a clarinet.

Ugh.

Why did I send out those 100 copies?! Now I have to release this book. Now I can’t take it back. Now I can’t find more excuses. Now I can’t wait for better endings where I want them to exist. Now it’s out there. And the train can’t be stopped.

NART.

Too risky.

I get it now. I so get it now. Why did I write this. I don’t know, but I’m taking a sleeping pill and knocking myself out because I’m ‘bout to have a major panic attack.

Gah.

I need a big squishy grandma hug.

And a word to accurately fit all those emotions. Just one word. One perfect word. Please tell me you have one. If not, I’ll settle for the hug. Good thing I have lunch with my grandma tomorrow!

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing