Being an author makes me feel awkward (a reading)

awkward header

As a six-year-old, I did not feel awkward about writing books. It was at this age that I wrote my first book. I had just learned to write and read. It took me an afternoon of my tongue between my lips to come up with a couple of stapled-together folded pages filled with drawings and awkwardly written words. I must have been a bit forward because I also learned to speak English. It introduced me to a wide array of more interesting books than I found in the library.

While it may seem that my career started there, nothing is further from the truth. I still remember writing an essay around age thirteen where my teacher thought I used weird names for my characters. I disagreed because I had been reading English romance novels for a couple of years. The books bombarded me with stories about exotic men with weird names that screwed up my expectation levels for love and caused me to use weird names for men in my stories (according to my teacher!).

Learning by writing

I spent my years writing in journals, scribbling stories, and deserting them when it comes to writing. But then I noticed how I best learn when I write things down as if I explain them to someone else. It is how I taught myself to read tarot cards intuitively. When I had written down everything I knew, I had a document that I turned into a manuscript. Coming from a family where writing books is an actual profession, I knew it took work and more work. But I needed a lot of encouragement from my friends to send it to publishers for evaluation. I was so scared.

So, I did a tarot card reading and asked: How many refusals will I receive before I get my manuscript accepted? I pulled the Seven of Swords. A card of deceit and secrecy, but before I drew the card, I had decided not to interpret the card’s meaning but only use the number to get an answer.

Sending out copies

I went off to a print shop (2003!) and found out I could only afford three copies because it was so expensive. I sent them out, and the publishers returned them instantly. I sent the manuscript out to three new publishers, and they did the same thing. And then, lucky number seven came up. I had saved the best for last.

I sent a single copy, and it came back instantly. I felt devastated and was about to throw in the towel.

Luckily, some fighting energy had remained, and I told myself: “This is not going to happen. Send it out to the next publishing house, and keep on trying. You believe in that book, so work for it!” Off went another copy. I didn’t get a reply right away, and I was disappointed. I let go of the idea to be a writer and focused on my reading business.

But then…

Three months later, I received an email that they were happy to offer me a publishing contract for my book! I then remembered the question I asked for the reading: How many refusals will I receive before I get my manuscript accepted? I received seven refusal letters and even had to pay to get my copies back, but the eighth was accepted! Apparently, there was more truth in my readings than I could have ever imagined. I found those refusal letters this weekend when I was decluttering a cupboard. I didn’t even know I still had them.

It took eighteen months to hold the book in my shaking hands. To date, it was one of the proudest moments in my life. It felt like giving birth after years of pregnancy. Since then, I have published a lot, primarily blogs. But I also wrote books that I either unpublished and deleted or didn’t tell anyone. There was always that desire to do the opposite, but I was afraid of the consequences. My career, the opinions of people I knew, all that was more important than doing what I love. I all used it to sabotage myself.

2022, a year of change

But with the arrival of the new year, I decided I wanted to publish the translation of my tarot book in, what I call, a grown-up way. With this, I mean to do it the way I deserve. The book is good, and it also deserves a new round. Plus, I got the right back from my publisher.

When I was thinking about it again today while I wrote the paragraphs above, I suddenly realized that I didn’t even have an author page on my website. That’s how much I wanted to talk about my books! It was a culmination of feeling awkward about my books. I corrected it right away 😉

I wanted to dive deeper into this feeling. So I did a tarot reading on it to understand better what was going on. You’ll find that reading below because I am convinced that I’m not the only one who loves to write and feels awkward about it.

Question: How can I reduce feeling awkward about publishing my new tarot book?

Deck: The Light Seer’s Tarot

  1. What are the outer aspects causing me to feel awkward? 9 of Wands
  2. What are inner circumstances causing me to feel this way? 3 of Wands
  3. What part of my behavior is making these feelings more awkward? Ace of Wands
  4. Message from my guides – 8 of Swords

The Light Seer’s Tarot is a new deck for me. I don’t know if it is this new deck or because I resonate with The Ligh Seer’s Tarot; I get super-strong messages from this deck. I love the imagery!

So many Wands cards! Wands are an active suit connected to Aries, my zodiac sign. Wands are about energy, intuition, vision, enthusiasm, inspiration, leadership, and passion. They are very energized and are like that crackling fire, with flames that continuously move around. They inspire us to change things and persevere until the end. If Wands cards dominate a reading, there is a lot of outward-moving energy in the reading. You need to take care to channel that energy in the right direction.

1 — What are the outer aspects causing me to feel awkward? 9 of Wands

9 of Wands Light Seer’s Tarot

The card to explain why I feel so awkward is the 9 of Wands. On it, I see a girl holding a wand that is aflame at the top. She’s standing behind a fence she constructed from the other eight wands. She looks at me as if to say: dare to cross this boundary! She’s protecting it with everything she has.

But the fence is the remainder from old stories I always told myself: don’t show yourself, don’t speak up, accept your situation; nothing is going to change. But it all changed last year. I started to speak up for myself and no longer accepted that things were the way they were. I wanted to change, and if I didn’t speak up, nothing would indeed change. In a way, last year was a scary year because I did all kinds of new things. Combined with covid and translating the book, it was a year of hard work. And now, I need to finish what I started.

I wonder if the awkwardness I experience is secretly a feeling of excitement for what is to come. Having set on this journey of doing new things is a combination of happy, nervous, scared, and excited. It’s a mood where you’d like to shriek Weeeeeee! But people would look at you strangely.

The 9 of Wands signifies that this is not the time to give up but to keep going determinately.

2 — What are inner circumstances causing me to feel this way? 3 of Wands

3 of Wands Light Seer’s Tarot

The Three of Wands shows me a girl with a surfboard under her arm. Now, I’m not like that girl but like her. I’m figuratively standing on that same dune, watching over the sea to look for what is coming, hoping it comes back with good news.

The card stands for keeping my dreams acceptable in the past. While some coaches told me to dream big, I thought I did the right thing to keep them feasible. And we all know that feasible is the opposite of big. Feasible only works with you divide your big dreams into small projects and tasks. Feasibility is not the same as dreaming big.

But this surfer girl dreams of a big wave that she can ride forever. Or is she still a beginning surfer that is okay with smaller waves to learn to ride the waves? As the words dream big came up first, I feel that I’m fully capable of doing this. The surfer girl is looking for big waves, but so am I.

It took me a long time to understand my ambitions. I hid it in my career, my old business, and even my new job. I thought about getting a master’s, but I remembered that if I did that, I wouldn’t have the time to write anymore, so I dropped it. What I want, and where my true ambition is, is to publish the book in a grown-up way and market it so that I can reach a big group of readers. I have a lot to offer, and teaching is another thing I’d like to do through my books.

3 — What part of my behavior is making these feelings more awkward? Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands Light Seer’s Tarot

The Ace of Wands is a card that shows a woman with flames in the position of her third eye. You also see the lines of thought that go through her mind, caught in a net structure around her head. All the ideas and thoughts have been brought into a structure to help her create clarity. This card signifies something positive because it stands for new ideas and potential. But interestingly, the shadow side of this card is about experiencing creative blocks, going through burnout, and a need to bolster your faith in yourself. Those aspects have been going on in the past.

Moving through those feelings was pretty horrid, especially as a writer. I often wanted to write juicy stuff, but it didn’t want to come out. It was frustrating and made me feel inadequate. But as my outer and inner circumstances got organized, my energy and creativity returned.

I have to sometimes remind myself that the bad days are over. Things like that can linger in your mind, turning into sabotaging behavior. I could publish a book and not talk about it anymore. This time, it’s going to be different.

4 — Message from my guides – 8 of Swords

8 of Swords Light Seer’s Tarot

My guides show me what I’ve been doing all these years of feeling inadequate. On the card, we see a woman looking in a mirror. She sees herself bound with crows picking at the threads around her head, indicating that things she’s stuck. The card also shows that’s not true. Feeling stuck is different than being stuck. It feels the same for me. I thought “coming out” with my books was super difficult for years. But maybe that’s not true. Past experiences can no longer be a reason to stop me.

But what is very obvious is that the woman in the card looks at the scene thoughtfully. She is willing to test her thoughts and determine if what she thinks is true.

“Whatever you believe to be true, whether it is true or not; if you believe it, then to you it becomes the truth.”
―Stella Payton

Wanting to be an author comes with a practical truth: if I want to be an author, I will need to publish my books and let the world know that I have. Many people I confided in suggested that I could write for fun but not publish it. That doesn’t work for me.

A book is not a book when unpublished. And a book is not a book when a reader does not read it. It’s as simple and as scary as that. This year, I’m going to change it. Even when it feels awkward.

Over to you

How have you been feeling awkward about the talents that make you happy? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

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Jolanda Bolt
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