I began this blog, The year of the Book Launch, the beginning of May. I had finished my Solo Ski Sojourn, the book was ready for the printers, I was on the backstretch, or what I thought was the final lap. But really, now that I have crossed the imaginary finish line—that being the book launch—I realize that the launch is called that for a reason.
A launch is defined as “to start or set in motion (an activity or enterprise).”
I am such an idiot! I thought the goal was the launch, when indeed, the book launch was just the beginning of the business of being an author. That’s why it’s called a book launch, not a book finale.
So as I contemplate the past seven months leading up to LET ME IN’s book launch, here’s my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned.
- It takes a lot of work. OK, everything does, right? But I thought when I started it would be easier. I really did. It took a lot of work to write! I had to learn how to write all over again. As a youth I used to write poetry. The words, cadence, rhythm just came from someplace inside me. That wasn’t happening. I have been practicing now for over two years.
- The Loft Literary Center (loft.org) was instrumental. I took classes, studied, and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. This organization is filled with other writers, aspiring and arrived, sharing and supportive.
- It takes a village—of new friends who are immersed in the writing life, and old friends who are cheering and have my back. Of family who stand back and let me flail about. Of professionals in the field who are willing to share their expertise.
- To be a writer, you have to do more than write. Some call it sales, I think of it as spreading the word. If you get the word to the right people, the right stuff happens.
- Writing isn’t the only thing I want to do. I have been hosting Retreat2Write workshops for two years now. They are intimate, engaging, and well received. I have a vision of hosting many more. And speaking. I picture spreading the word about my books, how I write, why work is important. Of course, writing more books, too!
- I still need an agent! I went out on my own for LET ME IN, and I am still out on my own, but I know that ultimately, I’d like an agent to help me promote, help me gain entrance to opportunities that will be harder to do alone. I also believe that the work I have put into my career so far will help me as I pursue an agent.
- It’s been expensive. But mainly because I have been in a hurry. What is it they say? “Time is money.” Well, I have spent money to shorten the timeline. It’s one of the choices I’ve made. I’m in it for the long haul, so I figure there’s a payback in here someplace.
- I have to move on. From a tough life break back in May of 2018, to trying things that don’t work. Resilience. Perseverance. Doggedness. The world moves on with or without us. I want to move with the world. I don’t want to be left behind.
- Relish the moment. I am, and always have been, a forward-facing, future-oriented being. I am constantly ahead of myself. I have to remind myself to enjoy the moment. To stop and smell the roses. And this year I have had many fragrant roses along the way. Finishing a book. Opening the first box of books! Selling the first book. Pre-launch party. Launch party. Book signings. Life is good.
- I need to give myself permission to relax. The stress in my life is many times self-imposed. Sometimes it is ok to just do nothing. AAAUGH! Just to type those words seems blasphemous. But, ok, relax. Do nothing. Because we know, “Nothing really, really, good or really, really, bad, lasts really, really, long.”