Well, now you don't have to wonder any longer. (:
I'm signing off on the final proof tonight to be turned in first thing in the morning, anxiously awaiting December 6th when I hold the actual first edition of God Loves Ugly in my two hands. I guess I know what all my friends and family are getting for Christmas this year!
What an adventure this whole book thing has been. My entire life I've always said, “I'm going to write a book someday,” but saying you're going to write a book and actually writing a book are two entirely different things. I thought I'd just whip it out in no time (I mean, I am the fastest typer/thinker I know…my head rarely quits, as do my fingers on the keyboard). I figured it would take a few months, maybe half a year—and voila. Book emerges while the Hallelujah chorus plays.
Oh, how very wrong I was.
There's the writing, then re-writing, then scraping what you have because it's total garbage and you realize you have no idea what you're doing—that writing a book is ENTIRELY different than writing a quick blog every day. You pull your hair out a bit, scream a bit, take lots of loooooong walks contemplating if you made the right choice to write a book in the first place. Once you get something you actually LOVE…you send it off to the red ink lover (otherwise known as the editor) who then marks and cuts and butchers your little child to shreds (with love, of course)—until you realize, without fresh eyes, your little child would have been good but not excellent. (Thank you Andrea Lucado and Liz Johnson).
Then you try to figure out the cover. Good, lord, the cover. Photo shoots and graphics—meetings and meetings….hair people and make-up people and stylists and teams of creativity—until something emerges that you think holds the appropriate emotion to represent what's written in the pages behind it.
Then the Studhubs rocks and rolls, getting ISBN numbers, trademarks, copyrights, Library of Congress approval, printers, websites, merch stores, blaaaaddy-freaking-daaaady-da (all the parts that would literally make me want to bury my head in a hole and eat sand).
You get your endorsements in, your summary for the back of the book, your short and long bio, your graphics, your formatting—everything it takes to finally get this one little, tiny thing that weighs less than a pound into people's hands. But through the chaos and the sleepless nights trying to reach your deadline, every second of this roller coaster of an adventure has been worth it—because I believe in what I've done more than I've ever believed in anything in my life.
I think I'm probably feeling what every business owner feels when they sink all their eggs into one business—knowing deep down that their dream is about to become an actuality. I'm feeling what every inventor felt as they sold everything to make sure they could patent and produce something they knew would change people's lives. I'm experiencing the 11th hour, the last mile of the marathon—I can see the finish line right up ahead. It's so close I can almost taste it.
Follow your dreams, dear friends. When dreams die, so does hope, and a life without hope isn't a life to be lived. No matter how hopeless things have been in the past—no matter how hard your situation has been, or how much disappointment you've experienced—you always have another chance when the sun comes up. That's the beauty of life—until it's over, you possess the power to write and rewrite the pages of your story.
Dream big, love deep, fight hard, and never, ever stop hoping.
I'm living proof that dreams really can come true.
xo, Sista Christa