So Much More to Say
Two years ago I was still trying to figure out if I was truly meant to write this book. Fast forward to today and I’m trying to figure out what my next two years might look like because I decided to start writing. I jumped in full force, never looked back and with six months I had written 98,000 words. It was a painful but healing, necessary journey. I am different today because I took this leap of faith and left all reservations behind. My mother wrote from a place of deep honesty and vulnerability and I had no choice but to follow suit. Ten months after I finished writing I had a published book! This process was painful in itself as I encountered legalities, timelines, editing, marketing, and printing expenses. All were worthwhile in the end, just a bit overwhelming at times. Publishing one book does not make me an expert but I learned a great deal and have a better understanding of what it takes to get a quality book on the market. Looking back, I’m not sure I would do anything differently.
Before I held a finished copy in my hands I asked a select group of people to purchase and start reading. Two weeks later, praise for my story had reached social media and with no hesitancy I officially launched. Launching is tricky and simply a matter of telling everyone you know that your book is REAL and now available for purchase. Social media is a great way to do this but algorithms are funny and people can go for months, even years without seeing your posts. Not everyone is on Facebook or Instagram and I still have people reaching out to see if the book is in print! You must become your own sales person and marketing director and you must be unafraid to toot your own horn! Promoting myself, asking people to buy my book and leave a review is a little out of my comfort zone. I know the book is good and I know many people NEED to read it, but asking them to do so is sometimes a different story. I’m getting better and the responses I get from readers give me the necessary confidence.
Since the release of my story people have come out of the woodwork to tell me theirs, to tell me how much they appreciated my bravery and to tell me their connection to my mother. Childhood, high school and college friends are reaching out to say, “I never knew”. But how would you? Students of my mother’s are coming forward to tell me that they knew because when approached with concern, she had been brave enough to tell a few. The pastor who married my husband and I in 2001 and the pastor who married my parents in 1965 both enveloped me in love and deep insight with bits and pieces that they knew as well. What a joy it has been to reconnect and reminisce with the past but also to begin new relationships and encourage people to explore their own stories. One person beautifully told be that I had given her permission to allow introspection into her own life. That ‘s what this is all about!
I have often been asked if there will be a second book. At this point, what I have written is what I know. I’m not sure I have another book in me but I do know that my current book will lend itself to so much more. As I said in the book, my mother is my favorite subject and there was only so much room in the book. I will continue to share in this format what else I know, what more I’ve learned and how/where I am moving forward.