With a Cover Reveal.
And then you wear your heart on your sleeve, hoping your words can somehow make a difference.
On Saturday, February 2, 2019 at exactly 3:00 pm, I pressed SEND on the final DRAFT of my latest book, The Year I Left. The feeling of having accomplished another book was different this time. There was a sense of relief unlike any other time I’d submitted a manuscript to my publisher. I know it’s because more than a year ago, I decided that this would be my last novel. My words have always been a reflection of my life – the emotions and experiences were always the plot points. I’ve written about growing up in a dysfunctional family, of midlife crisis, of peace and acceptance, of seeing the world through the eyes of friendships across the globe. And at this point, I’ve run out of words.
The Year I Left will wrap up the past six years of my life.
There are so many things I’m looking forward to.
The end of the self-promotion, the Instagram posts, talking about myself, looking at myself, worrying about followers and un-followers. The end of useless, mundane Facebook posts. Of coming up with interesting things to say, even if all I do is work, travel for work, work for work, live for work. I can’t wait for those down-time days – the days of Netflix and reading. The days of seeing the world or staying put and laying on the couch next to my husband. I can’t wait for the days of family and friends and working hard to make a difference – this time by more action and less words.
Because I had a full-time career outside of writing books, I was always toeing the line between both worlds. It was clearly a diversion for me – writing was my stress relief, my emotional savior. I wrote for myself and in doing so, I had little expectations. When my books garnered the attention of readers with the same experiences, I began to realize how writing can enrich the lives of those who have walked the same path as I have. I formed invaluable friendships with people who heard what I had to say. I learned from them, learned about love and patience and generosity. I guess that’s what I’ll miss the most.
So what goes on from here? Well, there will be promotions and interviews and live discussions until Release Day. Arcs will rain on you like spring and reviews for such a controversial topic will be mixed. But it doesn’t really matter where we go from here, does it? Because I know that the friendships I’ve made, the hearts I’ve touched, the lives that have been shared with me – they’ve all made me a better human being. The inspiration I’ve gained from each and everyone of you will stay with me forever. And how very blessed I am for having shared this experience with you.