Taking Off Your Shirt in Public

By Barbara Ann Wright


My dining companion was topless. She hadn’t been before I glanced around the restaurant, but when I looked back, she was feeding her baby. She’d put on a privacy blanket, but I could see in from the side. She shrugged when I told her. “Second kid,” she said. “I don’t care anymore what people think.”

The Pyramid Waltz, http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Pyramid-Waltz%2C-The-%252d-by–Barbara-Ann-WrightBSB_The_Pyramid_Waltz_small my first book, felt like that. New baby: worry, pamper, buy all the latest gizmos to help raise it up right. Obsess over it, hardly leaving the house.

With the second, yeah, not so much. The excitement lives on; it’s the worry that gets left at the door. With my first book, I was excited, sure, but I was a wreck inside. There was a frantic quality to my feelings, the urge to cry resting right under the surface, a fear so great it kept me up with cramps at night.

I had gotten published, my ultimate goal, but now what? Expectations. How’s it selling? What are you doing next? How far do you intend to go? Questions coming from others but also from inside. I’d been dealing with rejection for a long time. I was used to the brain weasels telling me I’d never succeed. I’d more or less put them to bed. These were new weasels, bigger and more ferocious yet more insidious. Now that I was published, they said, it would prove that I was a failure. I’d written a book, I’d tricked someone into publishing me, and now someone would read it and see what a fraud I was. No one would buy it, my rating online would be negative stars, and the only people following my twitter feed would be trolls. I’d probably end up hooked on meth, living under a bridge, and holding “conferences” for bags of leaves that I called friends.

Enter book two, For Want of a Fiend. http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=For-Want-of-a-Fiend-%252d-by-Barbara-Ann-Wright BSB_For_Want_of_a_Fiend_small Suck it, brain weasels.

I’m phenomenally happy with my success so far. I’m being invited to speak at various functions, and I’m pretty sure that those inviting me aren’t leaf bags. The excitement is still there, but that franticness, the oh-shit-what-if-I-screw-this-whole-thing-up feeling is gone. What happens after the book is polished is out of my hands, just like no amount of gadgetry is going to determine what kind of adult a baby will be. Sometimes, you just have to sit back and let it happen, and the guy at the next booth at Chili’s might see your goods. I never knew that could be so freeing.

18 Responses to “Taking Off Your Shirt in Public”

  1. 1 Margo Moon May 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Thank you for giving voice to this and for the assurances that those little buggers finally go away!


  2. 3 Sandy Lowe May 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Okay, I confess. I saw the title ‘Taking Off Your Shirt in Public’ and had to read this…I’m not sure what that says about me exactly but I really enjoyed your post Barbara. Thanks!


  3. 5 Erin Saluta May 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    That is a great title for a blog!! Congrats on the second “baby”! I was a second child and still felt all the love and happiness from my parents so I’m glad that you are still excited and love your work and that the brain wessels are the one’s living under the bridge talking with bags!!


  4. 7 Yvonne Heidt May 21, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I’m jealous your bugger went away! That’s what I think…. LOL


  5. 9 dorinda4516 May 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    The first 2 ‘babies’ are terrific.  Can’t wait to read the next one.  Which I hope is in the writing stage after the way the second one ended  they both get 5 stars Dorinda

    Sent from Samsung tabletBold Strokes Books Authors’ Blog wrote:


  6. 11 S.A. May 21, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Great perspective; thanks for sharing!


  7. 13 terribruce May 22, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    LOL – great, my brain weasels seem to be more tenacious than yours – just another thing I *don’t* want to be superlative at 🙂 I’m glad you’re getting comfortable and finally able to sit back and enjoy the ride! Whoohooo!!!


  8. 16 Anthony Lee Collins May 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    I was never quite that frantic with the first one (there’s something calming about knowing that, no matter what, you’re never going to make a lot of money), but the second one is definitely a lot easier.

    I agree, the kid’s going to be whatever it’s going to be. I think you lose some of the fun if you try to micromanage the whole thing. I was just making a similar point about first drafts at another blog:


  1. 1 Updates and party pics to come | Barbara Ann Wright Trackback on May 22, 2013 at 5:06 PM

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