Why I’m scared to release our new book

My daughter had her first “lip sync” performance tonight at a school event. Her and a bunch of first-grade friends had been practicing a routine for “Call Me Maybe” for months now, and tonight was the big night. She was well prepared, had put in her time, had collaborated well, and had no reason to be worry.

But, she was scared.

She may not have said it on the outside. She sure didn’t act like it with her friends. But she was scared to go up there and perform. Not because she would mess up, but because she had spent so much time and energy on this performance and wanted it to go just right.

I’m feeling the same way right now.

It’s odd to be the adult in the situation and know exactly what your daughter is going through. I’m scared to release our new book LAUNCH to the world. I know in a just a few short days, I’ll write a blog post, send out an email, and share it widely on social media.

I’m extremely proud of the book John and I have written. It’s deep but practical. It’s inspiring and funny. It’s the book we set out to write, to help and fire up teachers around the idea of creativity and design thinking in the classroom.

Yet, when you spend so much time and energy on a book, project, performance, or product…it’s really easy to get scared to share it with the world.

Right now I’m happy with the book. We’ve got some positive feedback from reviewers. But I know once we release it to the world a lot can change.

I think my daughter felt the same way tonight. She had a ton of fun practicing and coming up with the routine with her friends. They changed it along the way, added some new group members, and put on the final touches.

But don’t we all get a little afraid when it’s time to share that with the world; when it’s time to launch the final product out for everyone to see?

It doesn’t matter if you are seven years old, thirty-two years old, or eighty years old…we all get scared. 

It’s only a few days now until our book will be available to purchase. And the questions floating around my mind keep piling on:

  • What if no one buys it?
  • What if people buy it and don’t like it?
  • What if it’s not as well received as we think it might be?
  • What if it doesn’t help as many teachers as we think it will?

The “what if’s” will never go away. I get that. I’ve fought this internal battle before. I’ve accepted that this is part of the process.

In a way, John and I have come full circle using the LAUNCH Cycle framework to write our book. Now, after all the work listening and learning, asking questions, understanding the problems, navigating different ideas for the book and chapters, writing the book and creating the framework, highlighting during the editing phase…we’re finally at the final phase.

It’s time to launch.

And, I’m scared.

But, my daughter showed me tonight that it’s ok to be scared. And when she got up on that stage and performed, there was no greater feeling then putting her best effort out to an audience, and sharing what she had created.

In a few days I’ll do the same thing. Thanks for being a part of this journey, and I can’t wait to share the book with all of you.

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  • Sue King says:

    I LOVE your writing (and John’s); I am sure it will be fabulous. I will buy it. AND no matter what, you are awesome and inspiring for just writing it – another book – another child – and continued fabulous work in education. The only fitting feeling – PRIDE!

  • Oskar says:

    I am writing my first one and I am scared as well – for all the same reasons and more. Good luck!

  • John Bennett says:

    First of all, thanks: “It doesn’t matter if you are seven years old, thirty-two years old, or eighty years old…we all get scared.” As someone in my 70’s, it’s always nice to be included…

    And ‘being scared’ should be expected and a hopeful sign!!! If we’re addressing any situation – such as writing a book, we wanted it to be helpful as you note. That takes careful Consideration and subsequent effort. It is risky because it is ambitious. Being scared is or should be expected…

  • I love this post.
    It’s so honest and it resonates with all of us.
    Looking forward to the book…

  • A.J., I’m scared too. I’m starting a new design thinking school in Virginia and disrupting education in my town has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but hearing your determination in this post is so motivating. I plan to use your book as a part of the on-boarding professional development series for my teachers this summer. I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for being such a trailblazer 🙂

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