Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.
So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.
But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.
I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.
So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.
Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my dreams and into reality.
1. When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.
2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally !
3. I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.
4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!
5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.
So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds.
Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!
To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.
It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.
And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?