We’re one week away from the publication of The Distance To Home, and part of me wishes I could press pause. After months of feeling like time was crawling, now it’s speeding past me. I want to savor this experience, but it’s slipping through my fingers. The truth though, I guess, is that the debut experience doesn’t stop when the book publishes. In truth, that’s where it starts! And like that, it’s sort of like birth and weddings, those big days in our lives that are only just the beginning.
Earlier this year, when June felt so, so far away, I sat down and drafted some of my hopes and wishes for The Distance To Home. Maybe that sounds a little cheesy, but what I hoped at the time was that the act would keep me grounded . . . or at the very least give me some perspective. What I could see happening after the book sale was the shift of expectations. For the longest time, the dream was to get an agent, then for the book to sell. I didn’t want to get wrapped up in things I couldn’t control (like sales and reviews), but at the same time, it didn’t feel honest or true to the experience to not at least have dreams for the book.
As I look over the list now, I’m surprised at the things that have already happened (for The Distance To Home to be named a Junior Library Guild selection, for “fan mail”), and how many are yet to come (to sell my option book, book school visits). I’m also finding it useful to remind myself of the goals I set out for myself:
- to enjoy & savor the experience — be mindful
- to not obsess over Goodreads or Amazon
- to not waste mental space w/ envy
- to do nice things for other writers without expecting anything in return
- to nurture writing friendships
It’s amazing to me how naturally some of them came, while others are still a daily (or hourly) struggle — I’m side-eyeing you, Goodreads and Amazon!
My biggest hope and dream for The Distance To Home now? Okay, this is pretty unlikely given how many books there are in bookstores to choose from, but for my book to somehow, magically, be one of the books President Obama selects on his annual summer bookstore trip. A girl can dream, right? (I mean, he is a baseball fan.)