Here it is! The cover of my new book! This journey has been amazing and wonderful on the professional side. I have learned so much about myself, about how this publishing journey is going to go, and it’s been wonderful.
It’s also been stressful and by that I mean I’ve been doubting myself into a corner and eating junk food (way, way too much junk food) and not exercising and not taking care of myself properly, and etcetera. A kind of depression that may have been exacerbated by the seemingly continuous rain we’ve had since the middle of February all the way through to, well, yesterday? It’s beautiful and sunny out there and I’m thrilled.
But I’ve gained over ten pounds since December. That’s not healthy. And trust me, it’s going to take me longer to take off those ten pounds, not to mention the other twenty to thirty I’d like to shed. Is it because the book is closer to being a reality? Is it because I’ve been getting some amazing opportunities? Maybe. In fact, probably. And now that I’ve been thinking about it, it’s probably because my life is going to go on display, along with my brother’s life. Here’s a quote from the Preface:
“It has struck me now that once I let this book out into the world, my memories won’t be my own anymore. They will be seen by you. Known by you. Filtered through your experiecne. My words, yes, but your internal translation.”
Not gonna lie, that scares me a bit.
So, I need to get my act together. Not eating the junk food. Not drinking too much wine. Getting some serious exercise. Plus, getting back to writing. I’ve got some fiction in me that’s dying to come out, plus thoughts on another non-fiction that are brewing slowly.
But I want to share how it’s been for me. Every step of this journey so far has been accomplished with a kind of disbelief. They want the book? Yay! They accepted the manuscript so I get paid? Yay! (Panics in wine and cheese. What if it’s no good and they want their money back?!) Wait. They sent back their edits? Yay, because everything was easy for me to understand and I handled those with no problem. I got a cover in December but I couldn’t share until February? Yay! My book is up for pre-order, AND it hit #1 in new releases the same day? YAY! And oh holy fuck, this is really happening. (Panics in more wine and peanut butter filled pretzels along with some online computer games.)
Oh, I got the copy edits back. Um, okay. Oh cool, this isn’t bad. I totally understand. Yep, that comment is right on target, and whew yeah, that needed to come out. A little over two-thirds of the book I’ve handled, and then I come to a complete stop.
Wait, she wants more where? What if I don’t have more? (Panics in carmel corn and BBQ potato chips.) It’ll be okay, I’ll just talk to my brother Greg and pick his brain. In the meantime, I’ll distract myself with choosing where the photos will go. Wait, where are there more photos of just Scott? Time to scour my computer. (Panics in vodka and Italian food.)
The funny thing is, it wasn’t until I looked back recently at the journey that I realized my internal panic, or that I’ve been handling that panic with food while trying to behave like everything is fine even though I’ve lost my easy jeans, and the only other pair I have cut me at the waist. I went and looked at jeans yesterday and had to walk out of the store, knowing I wouldn’t like seeing myself in the mirror, hating the fact I’d have to move up a size. (That panic was handled with wine and pizza.)
It’s a trust issue. I need to trust in my own instincts that this book is both wanted and needed. I need to trust the fact that the readers who want it will love it. I need to deep down understand that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s perfectly fine. All of that, plus the knowledge that I don’t have to compromise myself to make someone else feel better, will help me handle what’s to come. It will also help me find love for myself again. To treat myself better. I deserve a healthy body at a healthy weight (whatever that may be).
My takeaway for you? Your journey is worth it. Trust yourself, trust your instincts, trust those around you who are supporting you. And try this…when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning, smile, point at your reflection, and say, “I know you. I love you!” (Thank you Amie Emberharte for that!) Keep doing that, and sooner than you realize, you’ll internalize that love…watch what changes.