Book launch edition
I love my job. I get to help lots of humans with big, human things. But sometimes my downstairs brain gets loud. Last month marked my eighth time (what!!??? How can that be?) sharing a precious book baby of mine out into the world, and I have noticed some patterns.
2-3 months before launch…So many details hinge on 100 dominoes falling just right to get books in the right place at the right time. This means lots of long meetings with my little team to prep and plan and adjust to bumps in the road.
Six weeks out…My brain starts buzzing. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. I have lists going everywhere of things to get done before the “baby” arrives.
Four weeks out…My resting heart rate ticks up a few beats per minute. At this point, I am writing emails, creating social media posts, connecting with podcasters, and recording videos, but often I still haven’t even seen the physical book yet. Rather inconveniently, this is also when my downstairs brain starts to chime in with helpful comments like, “This book is terrible” and “No one is going to want to read this.”
Three weeks to go…I feel anxious and stressed. My belly is tight. Sometimes my breathing is a little shallow. This is coupled with thoughts like “I’m lucky I get to write – how dare I feel stressed.” I start trying to control things I have no control over. When I felt this stage hit this time around, I sent this text to my team. Thankfully, they were understanding and supportive.
Two weeks before release…I am swimming in a sea of logistics, podcast recordings, and doing the uncomfortable but necessary task of asking people to buy my book. I hate the sales and marketing side of running a business. Conversations about messaging and clicks and SEO leave me feeling like the life force has been sucked from my body. BUT, I want everyone who is on the path to healing–or supporting kids on that journey–to have these resources that can help lighten the load. That’s why I write.
Ten days to go…Hopefully there are a few mentions and early reviews on social media popping up. That helps me not feel so alone. Then, like clockwork, my brain chimes in with a snide, “It shouldn’t matter what other people think.” I summon some upstairs brain power (or phone a friend to borrow theirs) and remember, Yes it actually does matter what others think. I’m not saying every review has to be glowing, but I’m writing to help YOU! That said, not every single person will resonate with every page of every book, and that’s ok too. Different songs, books, or artwork by my favorite creative folks speak to me in different seasons. That’s the beauty of creativity and human connection. But alas, that is hard to hold when I am tired and feeling vulnerable.
Days before release…Books start arriving, text messages come in from friends and family, and the book starts to feel like more of a reality. It’s still so new and precious to me, though. It feels like a little part of me is out in the world now, in other people’s hands, in their homes, in their schools or counseling offices. At this point, I wrestle with my feelings about numbers and remind myself for the 432nd time that just because I don’t write New York Times best sellers doesn’t diminish the value of my work.
This is also a time when it’s really important that I eat and sleep enough and have a few non-book-related moments outside or with friends/family. When any one of those gets off (especially not eating enough), my downstairs brain is just primed to yell, “DANGER! YOU ARE FAILING AT EVERYTHING!”
(Also, I may or may not have typed that last line while eating a snack because, well, things looked bleak a few minutes ago.)
And that brings us to, drum roll please 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁
Release day…A book baby is born. It’s surreal. So much work leading up to this day!! My nervous system doesn’t know what to do with all of it. My downstairs brain usually chimes in with something like, “But a book isn’t going to solve people’s problems. You should have just stuck with being a therapist.” A phone call with a friend, a long walk with my husband, and some journaling help me find my way through the swirl of thoughts and emotions. And a nap. This time I really needed a nap.
I’ve also learned to slow down for a second to honor this moment. There’s always more work to be done, but this day matters. 🎉
And beyond…I’m still figuring out how to stay true to my mission of restoring hope in broken places while also valuing my work and honoring what it takes to create. So you will hear me request:
Please buy this book. It’s worth it!
Share it with others. It is easy to get lost in the sea of algorithms.
Pretty please write a review.
If you made it through all those words above, thanks for sharing my journey today. ❤️ A friend of mine convinced me that we need a big ol’ bash this fall to celebrate after my 10th book release. If you want to come party with me, shoot me a quick email and let me know! I haven’t decided on the details, but I’ll keep you posted. My kids think it’s a great idea, and my youngest even promised he would not interrupt me this time to tell me that he burped.