The sky faded soft like a lullaby

by Kim on September 11, 2013 · 76 comments

sunset sky

I wrote a book. It launched on Monday. I was nervous and didn’t sleep and my sister was visiting from Seattle so I got out of bed at 3:30 a.m. to drive her to the airport. We hugged and she disappeared through the glass airport doors. I climbed back in my car with my coffee and drove down the empty Interstate in the pitch-black of 4 a.m. I kept the radio off. And in the silence I hoped with all hope that my book would sell.

I drove to my parents. My Dad had to go to the doctor and I was going to take him. It was still so early, so dark, and I punched in the code on the garage door key pad and the door creaked up like an old man walking. I sat in the silence of the house on an easy chair, bathed in the light of the table lamp my mom leaves on to help the burglars see their way. I thought about how strange it is to grow up. I thought about how much more I know now and how much more I don’t know.

The sun came up and my dad got up and we drove to the hospital and I sat in the waiting room and read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I only thought about my book a little. But A Million Miles kept making me cry and I felt embarrassed and hid my red eyes from the patients sitting around me. I was feeling weepy and started thinking about my book again. It is scary to create something and offer it to people and then wait to see if they accept or reject it.

My Dad and I had brunch at a country-style restaurant with the tag-line, down on the farm. I used to waitress at this restaurant, actually. I ate my omelette and I thought about my book and hoped that I would not have to waitress at this restaurant again.

“How many copies of my book have sold, you think?” I asked my Dad.

He chewed his toast and said without looking up, “Oh, maybe 15?”

“Only 15?”

“Well, how many do you think?”

“50,” I said. “At least 50. I hope 50.”

My dad patted my hand, like I was sad dog, and said, “Why don’t you take it one copy at a time?”

***

I drove home. The air conditioning in the car broke a decade ago and the hot afternoon air blew through the windows like a desert tornado. Gum wrappers and mapquest directions swirled around my backseat and sweat puddled in my bra. I was tired of thinking about my book so I turned the radio up and sang even though I didn’t know the lyrics. I wished I was the kind of person that thrashed their head around and banged their hands on the steering wheel. I’m not so instead I held my hands at 10 and 2 and made up words.

At home I checked my book sales. I had not sold 50 copies, not even close. My husband said, “It’s early, give it time.” I emailed my girlfriends. “People are still at work. Don’t worry,” they said. I put on my brave face but my stomach folded over like I’d put it in the Kitchenaid mixer.

For the next five hours I sat on the couch refreshing my sales page over and over. I was like Pavlov with the bell. I was like those little lab rats who the scientists feed cocaine to so that they push their tiny, twitching pink noses against the button again and again and the pleasure sensors in their brains light up like a casino until they overdose in a fit of ecstasy. Except I wasn’t ecstatic. I guess it was more like picking a scab or scratching a mosquito bite until it bleeds.

I couldn’t figure out whether to mourn or celebrate so my husband and I drove to the liquor store for tequila, which we use for both occasions. Then we drove to the grocery, a massive, just-opened superstore that sells food and clothes and pharmaceuticals and diamonds. It took forty-five minutes to find our five items but finally we checked out and put the stuff in the car. Then my husband yelled, “To tequila!” like he was a warrior horseman and turned the ignition but the car wouldn’t start.

He turned it again.

It didn’t start.

He said, “Come on baby!” and kissed the steering wheel.

It didn’t start.

He took out some pliers and banged the battery but it wasn’t the battery because the lights were working.

“I guess we’re walking,” I said. He shook his head yes. We locked the car doors and left the tequila behind and that hurt.

We crossed a busy intersection and turned left onto a less-busy road with no sidewalks. We walked in high grass, near the drainage ditch. A skinny snake was coiled on the roadside. I told my husband about the book I’d read, the one that made me cry. I didn’t think about my book at all. “This is kind of fun,” I said.

The sky faded to soft pink, like a lullaby.

“You know, there’s a lesson in this,” I said.

“Like what?” My husband answered, “carry a cell phone?”

“No.”

“Don’t buy cheap flip-flops.”

“No.”

“God doesn’t like it when we drink tequila…”

“Brian, no! A real lesson.”

“Well, what is it?”

“I don’t know yet.”

***

It was pitch black again. That’s two pitch-black’s in one day for me. The walk wasn’t fun anymore. A blister formed on my left foot and I limped like an ogre. Cars raced at us and we blinked in the glare of their headlights. There still weren’t any sidewalks.

“I think I figured out the lesson,” I said.

“And?”

“The lesson is trust. Trust that I did what I needed to do, I wrote the book, and the rest isn’t up to me. If our car hadn’t died, I’d be at home, drunk, obsessively refreshing my sales page. But our car did die and now I’ve been walking for almost two hours through weeds and roadkill, in my flip flops, away from the computer. The Universe had to hit me over the head to keep me away from the computer. And now I see the lesson. Things will happen in due time. Trust.”

The lights from our neighborhood began to twinkle in the distance. I pointed at them and Brian high-fived me like we were Lewis and Clark discovering a wild new land.

“I’m glad the lesson didn’t have anything to do with tequila.” Brian said.

And I agreed.

***

Life On Fire ebook coverI wrote a book about how to live your dreams. You can buy it on Amazon for $8.99.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey September 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm

This hit me so hard in the feels that I started weeping at my computer. I know that feeling. I know it so badly. It’s the bane of every creative-type’s existence. What you’ve done is amazingly brave. You’ve bared your soul to the world in the public forum, and I can only hope that I have the same courage to take on such a grand scale some day. I’m only part way through Life on Fire and I’m already recommending it to friends. Like your dad said, just take it one copy at a time. This is a BIG THING, and you’re amazing for having accomplished it. It may take time, but the world will listen.
Lindsey recently posted..Introducing The Cost of Travel

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Thank you Lindsey. I suppose it is terrifying yet necessary to bare your soul to the public because whenever we create something that matters to us we’re doing that, you know? I recently listened to this awesome commencement speech. I can’t remember who it was by now, but he was a writer, and he said something like, “If you feel like you’re walking down the street naked, that’s a start.” So I guess we need to remember that.

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Patti September 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Probably my most favorite post to date!

Partly, because I think your Dad said it simply and profoundly, “Take it 1 copy at a time” and partly because I too obsessively check my stats when I think I’ve written something stunningly profound that of course everyone will want to read but only 8 people actually do and partly because I too, like Brian, cheer to Tequila – if you’ll recall my FB photo of 2 days ago.

Pretty soon you’ll be busy walking 500 miles and you’ll be enveloped in a completely different world and today won’t matter a damn.
Patti recently posted..Meet Kim of So Many Places ~

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I also cheer to tequila. What’s not to cheer about?!?! I know, I can’t believe in less than a week I’ll be 4,000 miles away. It’s adding to the anxiety at this point, to tell the truth.

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Gillian @GlobalBookshelf September 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Oh. My. God. Kim! You bring me to my knees.
Gillian @GlobalBookshelf recently posted..Travel Books For Kids Of All Ages

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I hope you keep the tequila on the bottom shelf! Just kidding. Thanks Gillian :)

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Carmel September 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I felt a similar feeling when we launched our site. I was so excited and we worked so hard on it, I wanted everyone to love it. And it really did go off quite well, but then of course things dropped off. But I had to remember that we are doing it for us. I love that other people read what we write and can relate and have a conversation about things that matter to us, but that’s not why we started it. And it’s kind of the same feeling. I’m glad you finally listened. Can’t imagine what the Universe had in store for you if you didn’t!
Carmel recently posted..ON RUNNING

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

OMG really. It’s so uncanny that the car broke. I mean, the car is old, but it was running completely FINE. And then just like that it stopped. It really was one of those “listen to the universe, Kim” moments.

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Sarah Somewhere September 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Beautiful post, beautiful book. You are enough, you are flourishing, you are exactly where you need to be and I’m telling you in order to tell myself, because while this creative life is tremendously rewarding, I have lately felt a bit like that rat and oh how I hate being that stupid rat!!!!
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..A First: Swimming With Whale Sharks

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I hate being that stupid rat too!!! That poor, manipulated rat. I follow Anne Lamott on Facebook and she wrote this status update about how every writer, two months before their book is to launch, is convinced she is the most worthless writer and blah blah blah… basically just saying how she still questions herself and her abilities. It’s normal– even if you’re a famous author like Anne Lamott. Still, it sucks. I always think of this dichotomy that I feel I have inside… deep, deep inside I know I am doing what I need to be doing. On top of that, like the layer of a cake, is the part of me that still freaks out anyway. Not at what I am doing but at how it will be received. I know the deeper part is more real, but that other part exists too.

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Chelsea Bond Stuart September 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm

The anxiety in anticipation and uncertainty is a terrible but awesome thing. As a writer, you – and the rest of us – share a piece of yourself in every thought put to paper. So have faith in yourself and enjoy the ride of taking risk that so many people choose to only dream about! With this single post as evidence, I’d say you’ll do just fine with Life on Fire and any future piece. I’ve only just started my travel blog, and sharing it with loved ones and strangers feels pretty scary. I’ll take a lesson from you and have trust. Thanks, Kim.

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

It most definitely is both terrible and awesome!

I remember when I first started my blog. I was so terrified to have people read it. And then I realized that no one was reading it!!! Ha. No one read it for a long time. I should probably remember that… in fact, I think that’s sort of the lesson the universe was trying to get through to me.

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Tracy September 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I love stories about philosophical Kim and rational Brian, they’re the best. Tequila is great, but sometimes a nice long can work just as well…I hope you went back for the tequila

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

We did go back for the tequila. There was cheese in there too, so that was worth saving.

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Michele C September 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Oh my heck Kim – what a fabulous post. Truly. One of your best of all time.

And I must admit – I have been regularly checking Amazon in a vain attempt to see if us mere mortals can see how many copies you’ve sold (we can’t). I think it’s safe to say that we are all cheering for you and are so proud of you….and are glad that Brian is there to lend his practicality to any situation!

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks Michele!!! Don’t worry. I’m checking Amazon enough for both of us.

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ThatGirl September 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Okay. So I love your blog but have not bought your book….I thought I’d chime in, for what’s it worth and maybe that’s nothing. I am not one to read self help books. While I love reading about your life, I also love my own, and it’s not the same as yours. Nor do I want it to be. The marketing for your book reads: Do you have a big dream that feels impossible? Are you harboring a goal or passion that you’d like to begin pursuing? Do you feel that there is something bigger out there for you even if you can’t name what it is? And my honest answer is….umm….actually, no. And so, I didn’t buy it. So, you appeal to a very specific audience. I love reading. I love memoirs. I love traveling and have done a lot of it. I also love my kids and my really, my whole life. I feel like I’ve got a great balance going for myself. If I was frustrated and wanted to pitch it all and go travel the world, I’d be buying. But what if you aren’t itching for that?

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hello! I really appreciate this feedback, honestly I do. Because I knew the book wouldn’t appeal to everyone but it’s nice to hear exactly why. I do think that even though you are content with what you have the book might have some nuggets in there that you can apply to your own life… but I think you are right. It will be most appealing (and most helpful) to people that have something they really, really want to do and need a little kick in the butt to do it. Hopefully my next book (which will happen… someday) will be up your alley.

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Jen September 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I think the lesson is that you CAN write a book. (And also that you DID write a book.). Someone believed in you and supported you in that endeavor – maybe that’s all that matters?
Jen recently posted..Gratitude – day 140.

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I wrote a book!!! I did. It definitely counts for something.

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Claire September 12, 2013 at 6:41 am

You really are an incredible writer. I find myself obsessing and worrying over details that I have no control over, and I agree that the best thing to do is to trust the universe (and maybe stay away from the computer).
Claire recently posted..You Need an Adventure

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

OMG, definitely staying away from the computer is helpful. And Facebook. Which I suppose is on the computer.

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Tracey September 12, 2013 at 7:13 am

Your book will sell! Trust, that is so, “it”. This was the reboot I needed:) I am a bit of a control freak and sometimes the lines between what I can control and what I can not, become a little blurred in my head. You wrote a book!!!!! You have done your part, fulfilling a creative goal and also, helping people like me, struggling to get a dream off the ground. The universe will react in one way or another, but it will be how it was meant to be. Way to see past the car breaking down to get to changing your perspective. Oh, life and her lessons, how sweet it is:)
Tracey recently posted..Letting go: Selling our Stuff

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Yes, yes. Life and her lessons. One thing that has changed for me over the years is how I actually SEE the lessons where before I might have just thought it a random, shitty bit of bad luck. But it was so much more than that, and I’m grateful that I see that.

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Mike McEnnerney September 12, 2013 at 7:21 am

Great post Kim, I wish you lots of success with the book :0)
Mike McEnnerney recently posted..Light of Faith

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thank you Mike!

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kyenne September 12, 2013 at 8:01 am

Kim, I love your writing, support your dreams and hope to read your book one day… the old-fashioned Luddite way I like to read books. I don’t have a kindle and I’m not getting one. Or an iPad, kobos, nook, etc. So when it’s available in the dead-tree version, give a shout out and I’ll be first in line. Best of luck with sales in the meantime.

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

When it’s available in the dead-tree version you will be the first to know! I’m working on that, actually, and should hopefully have it available in the next few weeks. I’ll announce it on the blog when I do.

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Maddie September 12, 2013 at 8:06 am

Love, love, love your story telling ability! I always feel completely transported to whatever you’re writing about, I can just see you both trudging along in the weeds contemplating life’s lessons. Have faith in yourself, the ability is there it will just take time like anything else, be proud :-)
Maddie recently posted..Paradise found – Isla del Sol

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Thanks Maddie. Patience is not one of my virtues… but I’m trying (and, admittedly, I should try harder).

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Aurora September 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

I’m sorry you didn’t get to drink tequila – as tequila is just great! :)
Kim — this is GREAT. your writing is so awesome lately. you just had to come home to the midwest! :)
wow!

and yes…. that is the big lesson. for all of us, probably – or at least me…. trust. trust. trust.

trust.
Aurora recently posted..It’s the little things

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

We went back for the tequila!

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Lizzie September 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

I was so excited to read your book, I started checking for it before 9/9 and bought it on 9/4. It’s so lovely and full of truth. But as I read and did the exercises, the truth it revealed for me was unexpected. “Lizzie, you’ve already been doing this.” Huh? What? No new Secrets of the Universe revealed? No exciting horizon of the unknown to dash off to? No. But a really big validation.

I think I expected that my Life on Fire would look like yours, even though intellectually I knew differently and no one’s dream life will look like anyone else’s. But your book held up a mirror that reminded me how much I love my life. My life that I’ve been creating through the course of twelve US Presidents, ten states, and four marriages. My life that often seemed to have no direction or the wrong one, working jobs that were hell with fluorescent lighting, and scarcity was the given to the point of fearing homelessness. My life where I persisted in writing down my dreams and goals and believing they would happen.

I love my office job and the work I do and the people I work with. I also love having 5-1/2 weeks vacation. And travel–flying, road trips, exploring. And coming home. I love my husband. (It sure as hell took long enough to find him. My catch-and-release relationship program is now over–I found a keeper.) And looking out at the lake from our house and sitting on the deck with our dog. I love meeting friends for a run. I love my city–its beauty, sense of community, harsh winters that make me feel like such an intrepid and hot & steamy summers that I soak up like a lizard on a rock–and the continuity that comes from being in a place over a period of time. I love having abundance and being able to share it. I am grateful for these every day.

And even though at first I was frankly a little disappointed that your book didn’t furnish me with the revelations I had expected, I am so grateful that it reminded me of the path I’ve taken to arrive at this moving destination–a life of joy. And fire. Thank you, Kim.
Lizzie recently posted..The Things I No Longer Carry

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

THIS COMMENT! Oh man, I was like… she hates the book! No, she likes it! No… she kind of both hates it and likes it but none of that matters because SHE HAS A LIFE OF JOY AND SHE KNOWS IT. And then I sat back and though, good, so the book gave her what she needs, which is to see that she has what she needs. And also what she loves. Yay. I am so glad that your life is (already) on fire.

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Angie Mattson September 12, 2013 at 10:01 am

I wish I could high-five you right now!
Angie Mattson recently posted..The mountains are calling and I must go

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE instead.

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Lance | Trips By Lance September 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

I really enjoyed the storytelling in this post. You have a writing gift, and no matter how well the book does you should keep plugging away.
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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Lance. I will keep plugging away. Definitely.

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tyrhone September 12, 2013 at 11:02 am

Validation is our true nemesis and we seek it out constantly. The hard thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what others think of us, only what we think of ourselves. If you are happy and proud of the book that is the only thing that matters. Don’t get me wrong, receiving the kudos of our peers feels fantastic, selling a shit load of books probably more so. But in the end the only thing that matters is how you feel about it.
tyrhone recently posted..Where there’s a Mexican, there’s a way!

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Validation is a bitch… oh, the human condition…

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KT September 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

Kim, I bought your book for the same reason ThatGirl didn’t buy it, so please don’t listen to the people who tell you it’s too niche. If it’s niche, that means it’s just what someone out there is looking for. I had a big realization over the last week – I’m too afraid to do the things I truly want to do. Travel, move, share more of myself with my writing, start my own business… The list is long and my fear is deep. I read your blog regularly and I’m really looking forward to reading the book. If it helps just one person, you’ve made a big difference. And even if I hate it (which I’m sure I won’t), even if everyone hates it (definitely not the case), you should still be proud of writing it and proud of how you live your life. I’ll be sure to review and recommend, hopefully others will too, and sales will come!
KT recently posted..Mini Goal: 90 Day Fitness Challenge Wrap-Up

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thank you KT. It is niche but I hope it will find the people who need it. I wrote the book because A) I really felt like I HAD to write the book and B) I wanted to write it for the people who are where I was five years ago — the people still contemplating, those who have so much fear they can’t move forward, those who can’t see the path and don’t know where to start… Thank you for buying the book.

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OCDemon September 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

Those last several lines have inspired me to write a post called “52 life lessons learned from tequila.” Allow me to go “research.”
OCDemon recently posted..6 big Polish stereotypes that are kinda silly

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

HA. I really hope you do write that. And when you do make sure to send it to me!

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Rhonda September 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Cheers to Tequila!…. the source of many things both good and bad. I understand your self doubt but Sarah is right… you are enough just now, just in this moment, so try not to stress too much about the future. The universe will guide you! And, I am so, so, so glad you were appreciating A Million Miles in a Thousand Years as I did. I haven’t been moved that much by any one book since the Alchemist (but I’m reading yours this weekend!)
Hang in there my friend…. your continuing success is certain because you believe all the way down to your gut that you are on the correct path for you.
Rhonda recently posted..Autumn Magic

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Oh, it was such a good book. SO GOOD. I wish I would have known he lived in Portland when I was in Portland. I totally would have asked him out for coffee.

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Rhonda September 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

no doubt! Maybe I will…lol..and maybe we can invite Bob Goff to come too!
Rhonda recently posted..Autumn Magic

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Anja van der Vorst September 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Hi Kim,

What a beautiful post you wrote! And I love your sense of humor.

I can totally imagine your thoughts, fears and feelings about your book. Seems natural and logical.

May I add a bit of a different point of view next to what has been said by you and others in the previous comments?

Sure, you wrote it for you, because it had to be written. And that’s good. But I think that every writer ( and artist, etc) wants to be read (or seen or heard).
I write a blog and I am not very succesful in terms of pageviews and income. And I regret that. But for a lot of reasons ( that I will not bore you with here) I know and accept that I am not able to improve that significantly.

I have a friend blogger though, who IS very succesful in pageviews and in monetising her blog. What I have learned from her (and others) is that good content alone is (usually) not enough. Marketing, e.g., is very important too. It means that no, your job is NOT done with writing the book. No, you do NOT have to sit and wait, trying to be Zen and patient, keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best. You have other options. Specificly in promoting your book in whatever way possible. I know, a whole skill in itself and very time consuming. But I think that it is crucial in trying to sell a book.

Ofcourse I have no idea of what kind and amount op promotion you have already done. Just wanted to point this out.

I wish you good luck with selling your book! Don’t be too Zen;-)
Anja van der Vorst recently posted..An hommage to pink and to Diana Vreeland

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Believe me, I know this. Actually, this point in particular is a bit of a problem for me. Because, see, I tend to think that if I JUST WORK HARD ENOUGH, no matter what it is I’m working on so, in this case, selling a book, that I will succeed. And if I don’t succeed it’s because I DIDN’T WORK HARD ENOUGH and MUST WORK HARDER. And in some ways I think this is a bit of a trap. I am working very hard to promote the book. I’m doing everything that I know to do… but, also, I can’t control how it is received (someone I very much respect just told me this and it was a bit of an aha moment). There is a balance… to accept that I did the work and that I need to trust in that, no matter the outcome, and also to work hard in getting the work in front of people who will embrace it. So, tough balance.

It’s so true that the job is not done with writing the book. That’s actually only the first part. I’m glad you added this perspective into the conversation.

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Anja van der Vorst September 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I understand what you are saying and that is very true, ofcourse. There are also factors in success as ‘luck’, ‘ contacts and connections’. It is not easy and a lot of work. I wish you the very best with this!!!
Anja van der Vorst recently posted..Quirky hotel room amenities at the W Hong Kong

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Kim September 17, 2013 at 7:20 am

Yes, I suppose those things do have something to do with it. But I think (hope) that, over time, hard work can trump even those things. I suppose I’ll find out!

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Charlie September 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

So so well written. Following your story since way before you headed off on your travels, I love seeing how much your writing has progressed. It always just draws me in now, I just have to keep reading until the end! :) And this is part of the reason I CANNOT wait to read your book, as soon as my next pay cheque comes in next week (the trials of one budgeting like crazy for travel *sigh*). You really captured that torment, fear and elation of putting a creative endeavour out there for the world to see. On a smaller scale, I can definitely relate!
Charlie recently posted..Travel and the hunt for greener grass

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Kim September 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Thanks Charlie!! I really appreciate it. Really, really!

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Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Hi Kim! I’m just popping up from my near-complete digital absence this summer to say I loved this post of yours… The picture of you making your way through the pages of Don’s book, sharing the table with your dad, clicking that stupid refresh button and feeling those damned internet shockwaves, seeking solace in the liquor run and finding something completely different in a fresh-air walk home with Brian…those are all the real, real-life moments. Keep sharing those. Or treasuring them in your heart; whatever the season calls for. (Said from my offline corner of the universe!)

Thinking of you…
xx
Bethany
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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

Bethany, I’m thinking of you too. That baby must be arriving any day now. Lots of love to you and Ted. Give Oregon a big hug from me please.

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Frankie (Bird) September 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I relate to this on a silly spooky level.

The day I published my book (about a month ago), I was determined to not do the whole “spend a day refreshing KDP on repeat” thing. So I forced the boyfriend to come with me shopping, buying things in town for our new house. We got on our bikes (we live in Amsterdam) and we ticked off a long list of uninteresting domestic items. All the time I was silently thinking (frankly stupid) things like “Am I a Kindle bestseller yet?”, “I wonder if anyone’s left a review yet?” and my boyfriend could tell something was up as I vehemently battled the case for a brown bathroom mat. When we stepped foot out of the last shop the heavens opened and a heavy rain began soaking our summer clothes. The boyfriend pointed to a shop awning we could shelter under… I shook my head and said, “Let’s go!”

We cycled home in the rain and it felt brilliant. I was so detached from the book . I was having FUN! I became wonderfully aware that there was so much more to life. After making that book my life for the last 18 months – that was a truly liberating feeling!

I write a bit about this in the post linked below, but I’ve learnt there are two secret ingredients to doing well as a self-published author – patience and time. That and writing more books… sigh… I wish you all the success in the world with your book, Kim! And in the meantime, have fun! :-D
Frankie (Bird) recently posted..Self-Publishing: Beginner’s Guide & Checklists

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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

Thank you Frankie. I love that you also had your moment that allowed you to escape from the craziness of writing (and selling!) a book and take you back to the real fact that life can be spontaneous and fun. Man, isn’t it a crazy ride? Congratulations on writing your book and I hope it sells a million copies!

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Monica September 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

Kim, you are an amazing writer and I loved this post. It’s so easy to question ourselves when we don’t get the feedback we crave. But know that you are a really good writer, believe that in your heart. I’m inspired every time I read something you post.

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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

Thank you Monica :) I hate to say it (damn validation!) but that feel great to hear (read!) :)

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Michelle September 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Oh Kim. All of us writers are yelling at our computer screens: “Yes!!!! I feel that!!!!” The life of a person whose job it is to spill their guts in a public forum is half bliss and half torture. But you know what? Last June, your goal was to travel the world, write about your journey, maybe write a book. Only a little more than a year later, you’ve done all of it. That alone – even if NO ONE bought the book – is enough. For real. You freaking did it, and that is amazing and inspiring and more than most people can say.

But yeah, selling a crap load of copies wouldn’t hurt either. ;)
Michelle recently posted..Travels: Nicaragua!

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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

You know, it’s funny because I didn’t want to sound like I was whining but I published this post because I knew that so many people would relate– anyone who puts themselves out there via writing or any other way will know what this experience is like. So I shared it. And, you’re right, when I look back I really have come so far. Sometimes I forget that. I need to stop forgetting that!

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Jessica J. Hill September 15, 2013 at 8:52 am

I love this story! We’ve all been there, hoping that our hard work will pay off, that people will accept it. I agree, there is a lesson in everything we do; and everything happens for a reason. At times I think it would be nice to not be so reliant on the internet. If we weren’t, perhaps you would have launched your book and had to wait two weeks to hear via mail how many you had sold. You might have dwelled on it, but it would be out of your hands. But then again, without the internet, you wouldn’t have published an e-book, so easily available to readers. Does technology help or hinder us? It’s always fun to debate.

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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

Oh man… I think it both helps and hinders us. I remember getting in a discussion with Brian’s cousin (who is a writer) a few years ago and I was fiercely arguing against e-books. I hated them, thought they were ruining the experience of reading, and refused to buy an e-reader. Oh, look how things have changed! Because now, I see it from a writers point of view and I am so happy that there is a medium in which I can write something and distribute it to the world. It’s exciting and I’m grateful.

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Ashlee Ayers September 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

Oh, the unnerving need to be validated as a writer! We all crave it, and I’m sure we’ve all been in the same boat as you hoping to find it through readers, followers, purchasers. Your writing has and will continue to change lives. Your writing moves others to laugh, to cry, to search within themselves. Yes, it’s fantastic when your writing moves others to purchase the book you’ve slaved over – I realize that’s what will pay the bills – but you taking a step in faith to truly be who you need to be is the most amazing gift to the world. You might not see the full extent of your impact, but others are rising up behind you and going out to their small section of the world to encourage others to be authentic and truly alive. If that’s not validation, I don’t know what is. Good luck on the El Camino!

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Kim September 16, 2013 at 10:42 am

It’s a revolution!!!! (Seriously, I think it is).

Thank you for this comment. The other day Brian asked, “why does it matter how much the book sells.” And I said, “because I don’t want to be a writer that has to live in a tent and eat wild mushrooms.” Because, yeah, at some point it really does have to pay the bills.

But, it is really nice to read this comment and be reminded. I started this blog, I started writing, in the hopes that perhaps sharing my story would help others to be brave and live their biggest, baddest lives. And to think that I can do that in some small way is f’ing amazing. Because that was the whole point.

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TammyOnTheMove September 17, 2013 at 12:55 am

It must be so nerve wrecking and I think I would stare at the computer all the time too. I am sure your book will be a success, but it will take time for word to get round, and for people to read it and then review it on Amazon. Rome wasn’t built in a day either. Good luck!
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Kim September 17, 2013 at 7:20 am

I know… patience is not one of my virtues! (I’m working on it)

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Nicole September 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

How monumental to write a book! Congratulations! You are a great writer. =)
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Kim September 20, 2013 at 2:31 am

Thanks Nicole!

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Ali September 19, 2013 at 5:37 am

Why would you leave the tequila behind? Could’ve made the walk back home more tolerable ;-) Kidding.

I can’t imagine what goes through your head when releasing something as huge as a book into the world and waiting to see what happens. But I’m confident your book will do well!
Ali recently posted..So You Think You Want to Rent a Car

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Kim September 20, 2013 at 2:33 am

Ha :) We went back for it with the other car!

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Beverley | Pack Your Passport November 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Kim, seriously, I haven’t read anything this good in a really long time. And I read a lot of stuff. Your car not starting? That WAS a lesson but it takes someone with an open mind and an open heart to realise that. Not a lot of people will find themselves in a bad situation and see the good, the lesson or what The Universe is trying to do.

The Universe will always put you where you’re supposed to be though and walking home was probably much better than sitting at home hitting refresh and wallowing.

I don’t know how many copies you’ve sold of your book. I’d say try not to think about it. So many people say they’re going to write a book or they want to write a book, but not very many people do actually write that book. But you did! You wrote A BOOK! It’s amazing!! If that’s not worth celebrating (with tequila hopefully picked up from your car eventually!) I don’t know what is.

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Kim November 26, 2013 at 12:17 am

Thank you Beverley. You know, it’s been a few months now since I wrote this post and I still think about how insane it was that the Universe sent me a message like that. It’s not the first time. And it’s this sort of thing that really helps me to *know* that I am still moving in the right direction.

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