When am I going to get to read your book?

People have been asking me when they’re going to get to read my book. People I don’t know particularly well, and don’t really see as a part of my creative community.

Coworkers, mostly. The occasional family member. That fundamentalist preacher–who clearly would not like my book.

Nobody ever looks at a medical student, and says, So when are we gonna see some of this “gynecologisting”?

Anyway, a while back–when I was pressed for time and stupid enough to do it–I took some of my manuscript to work to edit over my (absurdly long) lunch hour. I figured people wouldn’t notice, but… of course, they did.

That’s the point where I should’ve lied.

Homework. It’s homework. (Which, by the way, was their first guess.)

Nope. I told the truth. And I’ve been suffering for it, ever since.

I’m a perfectionist. And a cynic. And that means that I’m usually afraid that if I don’t have every single comma in the right place, and every single i dotted just right, I’ll be driven out of town by an angry mob with pitchforks and torches.

I think the best thing in the world for me would be to print out copies of the next story, stand on a street corner somewhere, and hand them out.

Except… I could do that. Easily. As long as the street corner in question is somewhere else, filled with people I never have to see again.

For maximum benefit, it would have to be a street corner here in my own little world, filled with half-strangers and nearly-friends who I do have to see again.

Terrifying.

I’m simultaneously afraid they’ll look, shrug, and walk away, and afraid that they’ll look, laugh, and not walk away. That I’ll be left in a sea of laughter forever.

How much am I capable of trusting people? That may be something I have to work on. Suggestions?