Biggest Surprise Ever
Right now, the above video isn’t going to make any sense because in a completely bizarre chain of events–and while I was writing this newsletter to send out–I received surprising news that the hardcover of Tiger Drive is available for shipping/delivery by January 11th via Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!! My head is spinning. I’m adding links here and sending this to you today because you deserve to know first, however, I thought you might get a kick out of my original message below because, just like that–I’m published. All my careful planning and now there’s nothing I can do about it! I have to laugh!!
The Ugliest Baby (originally intended newsletter)
Happy New Year, my friend!
I missed emailing you this past month–really I missed hearing from you. Whenever I send a newsletter, several of you respond with the most interesting stories and experiences. I’ve learned so much from you in 2017, and I hope to return the favor in 2018.
This was the first holiday since I started writing full-time three years ago (yes, I know, three years and I’m just now publishing Tiger Drive–Egads!) that I unplugged and took the holiday off. Writing is no different than running your own business. It sounds romantic going into it–this idea that you will work for yourself–and then you quickly realize that you need to work 24/7 to support yourself, keep the business alive, and get everything done. It’s important to realize that just like any job, one needs a vacation from time to time. A vacation where you give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing or catch up on your non-business life. Work life balance!
So I tried to shut my brain off and stop thinking about everything that should or could be done before Tiger Drive flies out into the world on Valentine’s Day. I talked to my author friend, Cathey Graham Nickell, about it. I was telling her how I couldn’t stop worrying about everything that needed to be done. I’m a process-oriented person, and so I get a bit obsessed with checking boxes (similar to Carrie in Tiger Drive) and if I don’t check all those boxes, Tiger Drive might suffer for it. I’ve put so much of my life into this book. What if I don’t catch any final typos? Making changes and ordering proofs takes time (even though I’ve already gone through two proofs and feel pretty good about it). What if I take vacation when I could save one more typo from assaulting my readers (I’ve hired editors and proofreaders to avoid this, but I still worry)? Cathey and I have talked a lot in the past about letting the project go, that we can’t control what happens once we release our books. But this time she said,
“Now you sort of know what it feels like to have a baby.”I’d recently read an article, but I can’t remember by whom or where, that I shouldn’t think of my book as a baby. But I said to Cathey, “Yes, it’s coming whether I’m ready or not, and I can love my book all I want and try to prepare it for a successful reception, but Tiger Drive will go out into the world and there will be people who won’t like it. Everyone could end up hating my baby because they don’t like its story, or worse, because they spot some ugly typos. Shouldn’t I spend this week not on holiday but doing everything I can?”
And Cathey laughed and said, “It’s like the “Ugliest Baby” episode on Seinfeld. It only matters if you think its beautiful.” And then we both laughed because Seinfeld has a show for everything. If I’ve created the ugliest baby, there’s nothing I can do about it at this point. It’s my ugly baby and I love it. I think it’s beautiful.
On January 1st, I printed out the first draft of my next book: In the Doghouse. I hope to distract myself from worrying about my first baby by expanding my book family. I’ve already received the cover art for In the Doghouse and am really excited about the story. I hope to tell you more about it by the end of February.
Were you able to take time off for the holidays? How did you spend this precious time?
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and humorous 2018 together, and thank you for being you.
P.S. Did an amazing mutual friend forward you this newsletter? If you’d like to subscribe to receive my regular emails, click here and you’ll also receive the first four chapters of Tiger Drive–-an exclusive offer for subscribers.