I can already hear my editor grinding his teeth at the title of this blog post.
Sorry, Dear Editor. I know this goes against everything you know about proper writing. But seriously, the title is hashtagged. And “#notepad #poetry” just doesn’t look as good as a title.
It’s been an amazing six-and-a-half years since I hit publish on The Color of Dawn back in January 2012. Had someone sat me down and told me where my life would go and what I’d experience over the last several years, I’d of laughed and called them a liar, because no way would I have believed this is where I’d be.
So much has changed since then. The first year of my life as an author involved way too much self-doubt and fear. I’d sit with my hand hovering over the mouse, terrified of clicking on the publish icon, certain no one would like my work. Then I’d spend hours hitting refresh on the product page on Amazon to watch my sales and see where I was ranking.
But things change. Newbie writers turn into seasoned writers as they release more work and gain more confidence when their readers review their work.
Life as an author has at times felt surreal. I’ll go to Amazon, search my name, and then be surprised that so many titles come up. I’ll be making the rounds of pre-event interviews and media pushes before IndieVengeance Day, and someone will call or email me to say they saw my picture on the front page of the local paper and read the article. Or I’ll be giving a workshop or at a speaking engagement, and the person introducing me reads my bio and I’m sitting there going, “Damn, I actually did all that!”
It might be the fact that my life generally revolves around yelling at my kids to put their laundry in the hamper, or household cleaning (kids are incredibly messy in the bathroom), or endless baskets of laundry. Or I’m walking and trip over my own two feet, or more hilariously, go to take Crow posture in yoga, and finally get it for two seconds before the sweat on my arms causes me to slip and face plant hard in the middle of yoga.
On paper, I come across as put together, intelligent, accomplished, and well spoken. In reality though, well, if you’ve actually met me, you’re aware I’m accident prone, I’m damn good at getting my tongue tangled up, and unless there’s an act of God and Congress simultaneously, or at least my hair dresser Sarah’s hand in it, my hair has a mind of it’s own.
Yet somehow, I managed to pull off putting together my twenty-sixth book (and my seventeenth poetry collection), set to release this Friday, June 29. #notepadpoetry came about when last summer, I was without pen or paper, and with nothing to write on (or with), I used the notepad function on my phone, intending to write it out later on. Which never happened, probably because there was more laundry to do. A few weeks after, inspiration struck again, and again, I opened up the notepad function in my phone. Eventually, I had enough poems to put together in a collection, and the name was a no-brainer.
But this book is different from any other poetry collection I’ve written and published. Before, my work was inspired more often than not by things I was struggling with, by the painful parts of life. As my life has changed over the last six years, so has my writing. To be completely honest, I began wondering a year ago if I had any more poetry left in me: Life had been (and continues to remain ) happy and I had been content for quite some time.
Writers often talk about how they use their experiences in their work. Certainly, my poetry has been influenced and inspired by what I’ve been dealing with, and is definitely a form of therapy for me. But I wondered if being happy, if being content, if finally being at peace with myself would cause the inspiration or ability to dry up.
Really, there’s only one way to find out and test the theory: hit publish. So I set #notepadpoetry as a pre-order on Amazon, and it’s now available. True to form, I’m keeping my e-book pricing at $1.99 for the book, and the price won’t go up.
If you’d like to snag a copy, you can do so here. And that’s all the sales I’m going to throw at you, Dear Reader, because if you’ve been reading me for a time, you know I loathe promoting my own work.
If you do happen to read it, I hope you enjoy it. I hope it speaks to you, and brings something to your life.
Much love and huggles, Dear Reader. Thank you for being a part of my life as an author.