I didn’t slept well for almost two weeks. A combination of back pain, anxiety, and staring at my phone too late kept me at no more than four hours of sleep most nights. I downloaded an app called Calm, played some of its music, and diffused lavender oil in my bedroom. Nothing helped— not even acupuncture. But my book had its first print run over the weekend, and that night, I slept almost seven hours.
I’m bouncing off the walls about my book finally being real. Years of wondering if I’d ever make the dream a reality and become an author have now become days of waiting for my publisher to ship my first box of author’s copies to my house. The initial shipment will be 110 books, and I’ve spent many hours wondering what they’ll smell like, how they’ll feel in my hand, and how heavy a box with 110 books is. I imagine fifty thousand emotions when that box hits my porch, but I bet I’ll be surprised by how I actually feel. Three good friends, all authors, told me that there’s nothing like the first-book feeling. I’m trying to absorb every moment and hold onto it like something sacred, something that I know is truly once in a lifetime. My time is now, finally.
In the midst of all the emotional navel-gazing, I’ve been very busy with publicity and marketing. My publisher’s marketing department is great, and I’ve been getting awesome help and advice from a publicist whose knowledge makes my head spin. I’m super frustrated by the amount of effort it takes to deal with some stuff (like five phone calls to take care of something that could’ve and should’ve been dealt with in one email), but I’m learning a ton along the way. Summary— if you don’t ask, you don’t get, and you might have to ask a million times.
I thought about applying for a few jobs that would be a big step up in the world, but between setting up the book tour, working my usual job, and trying to take care of myself and my family, it’s not the right time to dive into a potential career upgrade. I’m a huge believer in taking advice from friends, and they said hold off on applications right now and instead throw my efforts toward marketing my book. I was a little disappointed at first, because I’m not good with patience, but I’m so glad I listened to them, because they’re right. I would hate to look back and think I sacrificed any potential success for my book while attempting to get a new job. I sure would love to move to the mountains, though.
Here’s my plan for now: work as hard as I can to get publicity for my book, travel whenever and wherever to promote it, and always be ready to hand-sell a copy to anyone I meet. I’ve rarely been let down, at least not in the long run, by hard work or travel. And if I am let down by either or both, at least I’ll know I tried.