When I sold The Yellow Envelope two things happened. First, I cried tears of joy. Next, I panicked. The chief thought that pounded through my brain in those exciting and vulnerable early days was: Wait! I can’t write a book! I can only express myself in 700 word blog posts. I am so screwed!!!
Now I’ve finished my book and am waiting for it to come out (April 4, 2017 OMG) and in the space between now and then I am going to have to do one million things that make me uncomfortable. For instance, I am going to have to promote the book. I am also going to have to ask people I barely know to promote the book and then I will have to read reviews of the book we’re all promoting. Basically, I am going to have to hustle like I have never hustled because the words “I” and “hustle” have pretty much never come out of my mouth in the same sentence before.
Also, I finally (kinda) have time to write on this blog again. But now that I’ve spent the past year writing a book, my internal dialogue has shifted to: Wait! I can’t blog! I can only write 4,000 word chapters! I am so screwed!!!
Why am I telling you this?
Because writing blog posts and promoting my book both seem hard and my couch seems so, so soft. But NO! NO! NO! I WILL NOT RETREAT TO MY COUCH. I am going to do the hard things. I am. I am. I am. I am committing to the hard things. Right here, right now, in front of you, assuming you still read this blog.
Commitment #1: I am going to write one blog post a week for the next year. Starting now.
This is hard because, as I mention above, I’m out of practice. Also, I have a travel blog but I stopped traveling, had a baby, and spent a year in sweatpants writing a book. How can I write a blog about traveling when driving ten minutes to the grocery store feels like both a massive pain in the ass and a major accomplishment?
So I am freeing myself of the self-inflicted idea that this blog has to be about travel and instead I am going to let myself write here, once a week, about whatever I want. Topics may or may not include: writing, future travel plans, past travel experiences, shameful attempts at running, the bewildering things that toddlers cry about and why you should really, really do the things that terrify you.
Which leads me to…
Commitment #2: I am going to receive 100 rejections in the next year. Starting now.
Why 100 rejections? Because if I receive 100 rejections it means I am really stretching myself and entering into situations that make me uncomfortable and/or that I feel unqualified for. Also, the likelihood of getting rejected 100 times in a row is probably pretty low (Right? Riiiight?) and that means that in between rejections there will be some successes. If you think about it, even when I do receive rejections, I’m still getting what I want! Because I have to receive 100 rejections in order to meet my goal. (Jedi mind trick for the win!)
My attempts at rejection may or may not include: pitching articles and essays to magazines, trying to hand my book to famous people, asking writers I respect to blurb my book, trying to sell a second book, applying to writing residencies and book festivals, attempting to speak at conferences and bookstores and on podcasts and TV and radio shows. Basically, anything that both makes me uncomfortable and inches me closer to my goal of writing for a living while simultaneously not starving to death (I am not starving now, but that’s because Brian buys the food). I will be tracking all of my attempts in a spreadsheet and I’ll report back every once in awhile so you’ll know how successful I am at failing.
I am not sure how to end this post except to say goodbye and may your week be filled only with the rejections that move you closer to your goals.
P.S. Here is where I do the uncomfortable thing and let you know that The Yellow Envelope is already available for pre-order and ask you to order it. Will you order it? (Yes? Click here. No? Click here.) Likewise, if you are on Goodreads you can enter to win an advance copy of the book.
P.P.S. Here is a picture of Juniper holding the advance reader copy of The Yellow Envelope. Awwww.