I Don't Have Answers
But I do have updates
I took some time off last week and have been reflecting and looking into what I can do from way up here in Massachusetts (where we have very restrictive gun laws and also very few mass shootings) to help things in other parts of the country. I’m still struggling to see how I can take action. I’m going to keep working, because I think every single person in our country should be able to go out - to school, to the movies, to a concert, to a grocery store - without fearing for their lives. But I’m going to be 100% honest and say I am still feeling pretty helpless and hoping there are answers that involve something more than just trusting the lawmakers in Washington. Because we’ve already learned that’s not going to get us where we need to be. Your ideas are welcome.
So that’s that. Now for the newsletter.
I’ve been hard at work on a whole host of things. I have somehow turned into a small business, a digital marketer, and a social media strategist, in addition to the author and educator hats I’ve always worn. Oh and the parenting hat. That one just blends in with my hair at this point, though, always there underneath it all.
I’ve been doing some editing and writing some proposals this week for some exciting projects I’m hoping to take on this summer. I’ve nurtured the launch of my daughter’s picture book (which came out today!) and started slowly building strategies for all the brands I manage. (What does that even mean?)
And I’m becoming okay with being patient, settled with the idea that things will happen slowly.
One reason is that numbness I mentioned in a previous newsletter. It’s been so long sitting and waiting that I just don’t feel the same impatience I used to feel for the book(s) to get out into the wild.
But also, I’ve been reflecting on the immense amount I’ve learned over the 4 years since I quit my day job and started writing full time.
I started writing in January of 2018, and my last day of work was June of that year. That October, I started outlining The Other Women, and in six weeks from November 1 to December 13 I wrote the awful, terrible first draft of that novel. I’ve been in various stages of revision and submission ever since, which is coming up on 3.5 years now.
And, holy crap, have things changed in that time. The novel is completely different and 1000000% better. The quality of the essays I write has steadily improved. I also edit work for others - in fact, my close friend group formed after I offered to help a stranger edit a Facebook post she wrote into an article for the Washington Post, and she introduced me to some other friends.
But I haven’t only become a better writer and editor, or made wonderful friends. I was looking through some things for a client the other day and realized that, over the last few years, I have managed to absorb a ton of knowledge about how to effectively connect with people.
That’s important for any business, but especially for an author who is self-published. And, no, I’m not saying I’m headed in that direction quite yet, but it definitely can’t hurt to already have a network of people who can’t wait to get the book into their hands and shout about it from the rooftops before it even comes out.
So that’s what I’ll be working on this summer: getting a strong and interactive community going where we can chat about what we like, what we’re looking for, and share ideas with each other. Ultimately, this means hopefully anything you receive from me (or see on social media) across all my projects will just increase in usefulness and entertainment value to you. And, of course, get involved in the conversation. Let me know how I’m doing and what you want to see more of!
I finished rewriting the beginning of the book (she said casually). It took like 8 hours. I’ve been running away from it for a million years. Can anyone relate?
It’s just a first draft, but I think I managed to (a) get all the important information from the deleted first 2 chapters peppered in throughout the book and (b) make it still make sense. I’ll revise it in a few weeks, and I promise I won’t run away this time.
Ozark is done. Ted Lasso is on break. We have one episode left of Top Chef. There’s not an F1 race for 2 weeks. So, aside from Zootopia, which I’ve been watching on repeat with the two-year-old, we’ve got Stranger Things Season 4 running, and… Well, I’m not sure what to think about it. I think it’s just been so long since Season 3, and the show has taken so many twists and turns, I’m just not completely following or remembering. Like, why the Russians? Other than the fact that it was Cold War times? (You don’t have to answer that - I think I just need to go back and watch the series again. Or not, because that’s a commitment I just don’t think I have the time or attention span for.)
Also, it’s super graphic. My tolerance for that has decreased over time, especially when it involves young people, but I’ve found myself turning my head for a good portion of the show. So… I guess I don’t have many recommendations for TV and movies right now.
My kids have me listening to a song called “Mad at Disney,” though, and I’m enjoying that one.
I read a book for one of my book clubs last week that I quite enjoyed. It’s called True Biz and it follows a few students and the headmistress at a school for the Deaf. I enjoyed the story and got an education on the history of Deaf culture, discrimination and ableism and racism and how it’s all intertwined, and arguments for and against cochlear implants. It was a fascinating read and brought up a lot of important themes. And I don’t know if it was just the Audible version I was listening to, but there were discussion questions peppered throughout the story combined with the sound of Deaf people signing their lines of dialogue. Super interesting delivery, and I dug it.
Keeping with the theme of the day…
Thanks for being here. I’ll see you soon.