These days you don’t have to have ever self-published to be a self-publishing expert who can write authoritative things on your blog about self-publishing.

Having personally self-published one book myself, I would therefore fall into the category of super-advanced expert on the topic. Look, I even have a link: LINK TO MY BOOK

I bet you don’t have a link as nice as that. But this isn’t an article about where you can buy my book. That would be a short article. That would only be about this long: LINK TO MY BOOK

And that’s why I’m glad to now pass my wisdom on to you in my super informative article on:


You may THINK you know the right times to get overly stressed and worried, but I can speak from experience (both as a panicky person and as a self-published author)(Cough LINKTOMYBOOK Cough). I can tell you not only WHEN to panic, but HOW MUCH to panic. That’s really insider knowledge.

Now let’s get going before your foot falls asleep and they have to amputate.

Initial Panic

Before you can say, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”, you have to think it’s going to be really bad. This is the initial panic. You haven’t even DONE anything yet. You’ve just had the inclination to do something. So this is a good time to panic, while you’re still fresh and energized and before you’ve even written a word.

This should be a quiet sort of panic, the kind that makes you want to lay down with a pillow over your head, but NOT so that you can’t breathe and smother yourself. That comes later.

Midway Panic

This comes when you’re just over halfway through writing your book and it suddenly occurs to you that you’re making progress and this thing may actually happen. This panic is louder than the initial panic, with lots of to-yourself-but-outloud questions. For you beginning panickers not sure what sort of questions you should be asking yourself, I’m including this quick-reference guide absolutely free of charge (you’re welcome!). Or just 7 easy payments of $19.99:

Midway Panic Absolutely Free (You’re Welcome) Quick Reference Guide of Questions to Ask Yourself Out Loud for the Beginning Panickers Who Don’t Have Much Experience Panicking for Only 7 Easy Payments of $19.99 Plus Shipping, Handling, Gratuity, and Legal Fees

1.) What was I thinking?


I’m sorry. I got partway through the list and started to panic and couldn’t finish.

Just be sure not to over-do the Midway Panic. A lot of beginners tend to panic too much at this point and then they find it difficult to top that level of panic later on. Panicking is a marathon, not a discus throw. Throwing things comes later.

hiding in sweater
Sometimes hiding in your own clothing can help ease the panic.  Getting stuck there can help increase the panic.

Finishing Panic

This is the panic that comes when you are putting the finishing touches on your book and it’s about to be self-published. If you’re not sure what to panic about here, read the comment section for any product ever: self-published books, traditionally published books, laundry detergent, flowers, etc. You’re about to put yourself out there for a horde of angry, unemployed, bitter people to tear apart because your book’s very existence has ruined their lives.

Commence the panicking.

This kind of panic can involve calling most everyone you know to complain to them about how panicked you are. These phone calls are best made at odd hours of the night (Midnight to 4:30am) when you know people aren’t busy and so will be available to focus entirely on you. These people can be friends, romans, countrymen, coworkers, or any of your relatives, excluding aunts. Never call your aunts when you are panicking. Why? Because nobody likes aunts at a panic.

Post-Finishing Panic

Many, many people after they have completed their project and have become self-published authors think they are done. But there’s still an important phase of panicking to fulfill afterwards for the sake of complete insanity. This is the Post-Finishing Panic and it is the greatest of all.

This is the full-out crazy panic that everyone on your block should be able to hear. Go all-out on this one: throw things, smother yourself, buy my book, yell at a cat, cry in a public ice cream shop. You’ve just fulfilled your dreams, so you’ve earned some demoralizing stress about what a failure your self-published book is going to be.

This panic also bleeds into your next project’s Initial Panic, helping you get the next book started off on the wrong foot. And thus, the circle of panic is complete.

Tune in next time to read my Complete-ish Non-Committal Guide to Something (Maybe).