I gushed unexpectedly, as the walls came down while chatting with a writer-friend last week.
“I finished it!” I told her. “Last night I finally finished the formatting and spacing and EVERYTHING for my memoir and self-help book.”
Her eyes shined as she took in my news, and a grin grew across her face. An author herself, she totally got the emotion behind this immense announcement. She knew. The years of painful work, of staring at your own words and realizing how much they lacked as you tried again to work and rework them. The hours of sacrifices and distractions whenever you tried to give time to your family or friends. The many guilty-mom moments. All this to create something more than yourself, something to last for generations…just because you know you HAVE to. She got it.
She let me share it all and explain how overwhelming and powerful it had been to wrap up the work and click “order” for the final proof while the movie The Hobbit ended. The story of The Hobbit is mine. My Dad read me each page while he was alive, and read it to himself twenty years earlier in the waiting room while my mom was in labor with me. Seriously. My first publication was titled, “There and Back Again with Daddy.” So many meaningful connections to that story, writing, my growth, and my father. So it was especially poignant to be finishing my book as this movie ended- the coincidence was too much! It was more than just serendipity.
He was there with me, helping me finish my journey of writing.
I told my friend I really hoped this next proof was it- the LAST one.
She smiled and validated my years of hard work, like only another author (especially one who’s a mom too) can do, and then said, “But you know there’s always something to fix with the last proof. Every publisher I’ve talked to has said that there’s always something.”
At first my bubble of excitement wanted to pop. No way! I’ve checked and rechecked. I’ve already gone through 5 proofs! At least! But then I relaxed and exhaled. Time has taught me to be grateful for the friends I have and the experience they have. She was probably right, and I was glad to know it. Then, if my book came with something to tweak, I would be okay handling it.
AND…she was right! Even though I could maybe let the couple things I noticed slide, thanks to her advice, I don’t want to. I want to do this right and I’m going to adjust a couple more margins. If it wasn’t for her relaxed wisdom, when I was so eager to be done, I might be doing less than my personal best. I’m so grateful I had her encouragement, validation, and common sense to help me on this last leg of my journey.
Also, I know my dad would approve one more order of that proof. I’m going to earn my “Atta girl!” even if that voice comes from heaven now.
This is my belated #ThoughtfulThursday: be thankful for the knowledgeable and supportive people God’s put in your life. They are there for a reason. Whether it’s to cry with you, help you laugh at yourself, or just tell you that it’s okay if your dreams take a couple more weeks- they are priceless! Remember to see them that way. You might be surprised how richly you are blessed.
Here’s a peek at the cover and back cover. I’m hoping it’s available in two more weeks!