Back in late November, I was having a conversation with a new Twitter friend, Dionne, about whether I should start taking piano lessons again, or take ballroom dancing lessons. Things had slowed down a bit, became a bit easier, since my son had hit about eighteen months old. I figured, why not do something fun for myself with the extra time I seemed to be finding myself with.
Every time I think of that conversation now? I laugh my ass off.
In early January, after a bit of “gentle” pushing from my friend and fellow Indie Author Barry Crowther, I published a collection of my poetry. Not too long after that, Dionne Lister, who had become a very dear friend via Twitter, Facebook, and Skype, and I decided, “Hey, why not do a weekly podcast based on Twitter and Indie Authors?”.
Things started to snowball, so to speak.
In my day to day life, I’m a stay at home mom. Which is a job I love. I get to hang out with my three all time favorite people in the world, and while I’m still wiping two of their asses, they’re still hysterically funny, and you cannot beat an almost 2 year old, a 3 year old and a 7 year old giving you hugs and kisses for no reason other than you’re just that awesome. There’s the multitude of meals and snacks to prepare, school drop off and pick up, more laundry than I thought it was possible for one person to wash and fold in her life, and a whole long list of other miscellaneous things to get done daily. And it’s fine, really. I don’t mind any of it, although I do wish someone else would come over and take care of the final step of the laundry process. It’s the least boring job I can think of to have. But unlike most jobs? There’s no time off. You get sick? Guess what, you’re still working. My day starts at 5 a.m., and most often, I’m not crawling into bed until sometimes midnight. In ten years, I’m going to be looking back, tears in my eyes, and I’ll be saying, “How did it go by so fucking quickly?” I don’t want to miss a moment of these three miracle’s lives.
I’ve been working on what I’ve referred to as my “big” book for the past several months. Sadly, what I wrote in my twenties needed to be scrapped for the most part. Thirty-five has a way of seeing events at twenty-five in a much clearer light. During a particularly frustrating writing session, I sent a complaint filled email to Barry Crowther who responded that while it could be frustrating, the point was to just keep writing, even if what you write today does not get finished for another year. Which is excellent advice, which I’ve taken to heart and try to apply to my life as a writer, especially when I get frustrated.
Earlier this month, I published a collection of essays and poems, called 4 a.m. The process of editing, compiling, formatting, and finally hitting the publish button felt like a bad acid-trip: I hardly slept over the three days it took to get the idea to get everything together and ready to go. And even then, there was a gigantic stall out by the name of “Amber Norrgard”. I had an offer of a pep talk before I hit the publish button from a close friend, and another on Skype telling me to click the publish button. I’m not sure why that fear is there, exactly, just that for me, trying to actually click “publish”? I’m almost afraid that I’ll get a pop-up that reads, “Cannot upload because you cannot write you loser!” In the end, my own goofy style bad luck helped me: I clicked on that publish icon thinking I was saving what I’d done to KDP, when in reality I was publishing. “I hit publish before I was emotionally ready to,” was the text I sent to a friend.
Last Friday evening, Dionne and I had the good fortune to interview my dear friend Scott Morgan for the second time since we’ve started the TweepNation podcast. A discussion of reviews turned into a discussion of my questioning if I’m good enough to be a writer, if I have any business continuing on with this attempt, especially with all the added work and stress it brings to my life. And Scott, being the brilliant man he is, gave me what he referred to as a “non-advice perspective” (Scott, please allow me to paraphrase your non-advice, because it was awesome), that whatever pressures you face today will change to different pressures in the future and you should work through it and keep writing. DAMN good advice.
The point is, my life is a damn mess since I published my first book. And I love it. I’ve made some incredible friends, met some wonderful Authors, and written some of my best work over the past six months. But as I said on the podcast, I need all this mess.
Who knew messy could keep you sane?