Upon my return from Egypt, I saw it in my mailbox. I sat and sipped my cup of coffee as my early morning eyes hovered over the editor’s notes. A Life Suspended, my memoir about my son who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, had been patiently waiting for me. The manuscript was so close. A few more tweaks and we are off to the printers! Okay, there are a few other items I needed to check off my list, such as attaining ISBN numbers, formatting the text for several platforms, hiring a graphic artist to work her magic creating a cover that “pops” off the shelves and probably a few other details I am missing in my dazed anticipation.
Two years ago, I started to listen to the voice within. I let go of things in my life that no longer served me and as I slowed my body and mind down, it facilitated a profound shift in my perspective. I saw what was important and was gifted direction to create the life I wanted. I spent months editing and writing, A Life Suspended, acquiring feedback from an editor and beta readers, taking many of their recommendations to make the script even better. I researched literary agents and publishing houses. I sent query letters out. As A Life Suspendedevolved, I built a website, wrote personal essays and posted. Having a blog wasn’t something I initially wanted to do, and the thought of putting myself out into the world without the guidance or advisement of an editor was paralyzing. I was fearful of being seen. Of being judged. Of not being “good enough.” Who was I to publish my own work? And even more so, to ask other people for their time and attention to read it?
It took months for me to pull the pin and say “yes” to creating a website. Building the blog was even harder than I thought it would be. I didn’t have the funds to hire someone, so I took a class and did what most of us do, I watched You Tube videos. When I learned I didn’t set the site up properly, I was borderline despondent. I was way out of my comfort zone, trying to create a website to post my writing, which I was still unsure about. After riding a rollercoaster of frustration and tears, I asked my husband for help. With his assistance, we got it up and running. There was nothing standing in my way now, except of course, me. But I knew it was time. It was time to step out into the unknown.
When I look back at my old essays, I see how my craft has improved. This wasn’t something I thought of when I first began. I was self-conscious and filled with fear. I blogged regularly during the first year. The intention was to catalog my writing for future literary agents and publishers to read my work. It was solely to support the future publication of A Life Suspended. I didn’t realize or expect the impact it would have on me personally or that it would become bigger than what I had imagined. The lessons it taught me were profound. I believed enough to take a leap of faith. Over the past two years, I have found my voice and have formed a solid foundation in a craft I love. The repetitive process of writing and releasing has rippled into other areas. It gifted me the freedom to be my true self and not be concerned with how I am viewed or received. I learned to listen and have given the words space to breathe on the page. I write what wants to be written, not what I think I “should” write. When I said “yes” I didn’t comprehend who I was saying yes to…I thought I was doing the next right thing in the path to publication, but all along, I was really saying “yes” to me. To find freedom and joy in creation. To stand in my resolve and allow myself to be seen (without expectation) was life changing. It was the catalyst that propelled me forward into independence and, for the first time, I stepped into my sovereignty, and embraced myself as being enough, whole and worthy—just as I am.
At the end of this past summer, I made another big decision, to independently publish, A Life Suspended. Self-publication, like writing a blog, was another idea I originally said “no” to. It felt big and overwhelming. I assumed the quality of a self-publication wouldn’t be the same quality as a book released by a seasoned publishing house. At the time, I was uninformed. I didn’t understand how drastically different the book industry had become with current technological advances. I reluctantly took an informative workshop on becoming an independent author and was blown away. As I sat in the audience, jotting down notes and taking screen shots, I knew. To be completely honest, I felt overcome with emotions. There was a lot of information, some of which sounded as if she was speaking a different language entirely, but inside I felt it take residence. Truth called and cut through her words. I heard a call to deepen my independence. I understood by choosing this path, I would be breaking an old pattern. So often, I would defer or allow someone else to place value on me. I needed their approval—to be chosen. “Pick me, pick me,” then I’ll know I am worthy. Taking on an extensive project, like publishing a book, was far beyond my existing skill set, so I had lapsed into my default mode.
Why wouldn’t I self-publish? It’s in complete alignment with my journey. It was crystal clear; I would be an indie author. This revelation was months and years in the making. It didn’t happen overnight. Everything I had done had led me to this precise moment.
As I sit and marvel at the edited file on my computer, I pause. I feel the enormity of it, the responsibility to birth it into the world as I tap into the unknown. I am, once again, embarking into uncharted territory. Stepping into the world of publication. My curiosity is bigger than my apprehension, as I have a past to reflect upon and faith enables me to take another leap. It’s time; time to come up with a plan for a book launch. A checklist of tasks needed to deliver this baby into being. I am taking the lead by being the executor and have the privilege to assemble a professional team to bring this project into its fullest expression.
My heart is filled with gratitude as I believe with great love all things are possible. I look toward the light end of the tunnel, I say “yes.”
Another pattern is broken, another new cycle begins.
And so, it is.