Don’t screw this up

I’ve been getting a little flustered thinking about how to promote my book. Asking people their opinion of my work, makes me feel a little sick, let alone asking people I don’t know at all to praise it, so the idea of soliciting blurbs is a little frightening. I’ve been thinking about a talk to give, about preparing for interviews, contacting editors about running excerpts, getting a little tour together… and I keep telling myself not to screw things up, which, paradoxically, makes me a little more likely to screw them up.
Then I tell myself not to get upset. My life is great. I’m in love with my wife. My daughter is delightful. My extended family is healthy and more sane than any of the families in the books.
Yes, but, I rejoinder, this is a big chance, I’ve got to make the most of it.
This conversation in my head took place as I was walking from the grocery store home, with my daughter in the carrier. It was the day before her first birthday. That year had just flown by. She closed her eyes and nestled her cheek against my chest. And I thought, I could say the same of this particular moment: This is a big chance, I’ve got to make the most of it. I wrapped a hand around the back of her head to keep it from bouncing. It’s covered in cornsilk hair that sticks out in all directions. Don’t screw this up, I thought, and that time, it didn’t make me anxious.

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