There are many things a person looks forward to in life. As a child, we want to be all grown up and living our own lives usually out from under your parent’s roof. As an adult, we look to college, a successful career, getting married, or holding your newborn child in your arms.
Each choice and decision I have made has shaped the life I now lead. I would hope that along the way I’ve learned a lesson or two. As a teenager, I wanted to write and weave stories I had floating around in my head. That was my dream. It was crushed when a teacher in high school told me my writing wouldn’t amount to anything. A now faceless person from my past that, in truth, changed the direction I had planned to take.
I married, lost my first husband, and divorced my second. If I had to go through it all over again, I’d make the same choices in a heartbeat if it meant I’d have my three beautiful children. My dream of becoming an author was willingly set aside while I molded my kids to be the young adults they are today. They are my pride and joy and I’m thankful to be their mother.
Last week was another one of those altering moments. It was something I had looked forward to my entire adult life. It was a time to rejoice, a time to cry seeing a dream fulfilled, and a time to feel proud of myself for what I was able to achieve. Such an opportunity will only happen but once. It may have taken a lifetime for it to occur, but I can tell myself I did it, even though at times I may have wanted to rip my hair out in frustration.
The anticipation, along with my daughter’s comments of this being a crowning jewel moment, had me crying as I drove to my mother’s. I was in such a rush to get there, that in my excitement I forgot the key to her house and wondered if I missed a text when she didn’t rush to open the door. But there it was, sitting on the table by the front door, just waiting for me like a long lost friend.
I will only hold that particular envelope once. With bated breath, I tore open the cardboard to peek inside to see all my hard work and dreams become a reality. I could actually touch it and smell the fresh ink. I skimmed my fingertips across the title, my name shown in bold letters, and the picture of what I saw for my cover the entire time I wrote my story. I can finally turn physical pages to see my words made into a book that someone will read and enjoy. What an accomplishment.
Yes, my baby is in print. My very first novel. There’s nothing like that very first touch or the sudden adrenaline rush that raced through me.
I laugh, I cry, I hug my mother and daughter who are with me at such a momentous moment and give a silent prayer knowing my youngest daughter watches me from heaven. I can feel her spirit and know she is sharing my joy.
Later that night, I break down in tears again as I open the book and read One. Yes, I began crying like a baby reading the chapter title of One. Good grief. I’m such a pansy. My daughter teases me that I’ll never make it to the second chapter at this rate, let alone read my entire proof. She may be right. I was already busy seeing what needed to be changed with the cover among other things. But that is the life of a self-published author. I’ll never stop fussing with it until I hit submit and know my work is available, and I can begin the whole process all over again with the next manuscript. Maybe I should get busy.
There were a lot of emotions rushing through me the other night when I somehow mistakenly published my eBook on Amazon. I’ll chalk it up to newbie mistake . . . I don’t know . . . like one hundred, give or take a few. It certainly didn’t fit in with my plan to have all my ducks in a row on all the platforms (including my paperback) to come out at the same time. But there it was, “live.”
I felt like a piece of my heart and soul was on that Amazon page as I stared at it with a smile on my face and tears again in my eyes. Perhaps that isn’t too far from the truth. But it’s official, whether I was ready or not. I AM a published author!
Now on to book two . . .