I admit to having the hardest time writing lately. What with the book release in a few days, my plate has brimmed to overflow; guest posts and radio interviews and magazine articles taunt me like heaps of ice cream scoop-shaped mashed potatoes on my cafeteria tray.
I literally have about five half-written articles staring at me on my computer screen right now. Somehow, I just can’t finish them. Apparently I even did this weird face-arm-waving-a-wand gesture at my laptop just now, because Kyle just leaned over and looked at my screen, curious what could be bewitching me so. I don’t know. It’s just the wallpaper of my kids playing in the snow and 18 thousand run-on sentences, phrases, one-word notes, a paragraph here and there, and a list I typed myself that I can no longer decipher.
This must be what it looks like mere days before your next baby releases to the world and asks to reside on the shelves in people’s living rooms. When you’ve slit open your belly, let your guts spill on paper, and then wrapped them up in a gorgeous cover and have hung them up for sale on Amazon.
I’ve had book releases before, but it’s been awhile, and I’ve grown as a person since those babies. I feel more torn than ever between wanting and loving to promote this book—because I truly do LOVE the message and believe wholeheartedly in it—and wanting to say the heck with it, put on comfy pants, and watch Sherlock.
You know what? I think I’ll do both.
Because at the end of the day, I just want to be a person here. A regular person who blogs, who shares this online space with you to talk about the stuff of life—particularly, living simply and intentionally so that we can live our unconventional lives full of passion—but who also loves the little, everyday, non-Internet parts of life.
I don’t feel badly about asking you to consider buying the book, because I really do believe the words will encourage you. Naysayers may misunderstand my heart (and the publishers’) by saying ‘thank you for pre-ordering’ with freebies, and that’s okay. I know what I mean, and I think the majority of you do, too, so I’m sleeping just fine at night.
But I think this is not unlike that time when you’ve got about two weeks until your wedding, and you realize that a lot of your pie-in-the-sky ideas about your wedding just ain’t gonna happen—and you’re actually fine with that, because at the end of the day you just want to be married. And so your brain keeps knee-jerking back to those ideas, but your emotions are telling it NO, it’s okay, the wedding will be great as it is. You don’t need to add more sprinkles to the cupcakes.
Blue Bike rolls out on Tuesday, and it’ll be great. It’s all good as it is. My family and I will fly to Austin on Wednesday, celebrate this new baby with a fun party, then hit the road soon after to meet some of you and say thank you in person.
It’ll be fun.
Funnily enough, this reminds me of advice I’ve already shared in the new, short e-book I wrote called 20 Things I’d Tell My 20-Something Self (it’s one of the freebies for pre-ordering). Like kicking my own self in the pants, I reread the book today and remembered what I already know to be true. Stuff like:
7. It’s okay to relish some light-hearted revelry.
“Downtime is good for your body and soul—in fact, if you don’t get enough of it, you’ll burn out. Not everything has to be intentional continuing education, or deep and purposeful, or otherwise eternally significant.”
14. People aren’t thinking of you nearly as much as you think they are.
“So much of my twenties was about self-discovery, but it was easily clouded with the opinions of others. Or rather, what I thought were the opinions of others. I blush now when I think about how much weight I gave to what I thought were other people’s sizing up and measuring of my life.”
16. Learn the difference between the urgent and the important.
“Urgent tasks require immediate attention and usually put us in reactive mode, because they scream Now!. Important tasks contribute to our life’s long-term mission, goals, and dreams, and they tend to be well-mannered because they wait patiently for us to respond rationally.”
I think the reason my writing has started and stopped in fits and spurts all week is because I’m taking it too seriously. I’m pushing down on the scale and adding weight to this thing called “book release.”
My friend Emily has said it before—it’s not like we’re finding a cure for cancer here with our writing (though wouldn’t that be amazing?). I love the message in Blue Bike, that we really can slow down and live more intentionally, so long as we’re willing to swim upstream from the culture—but at the end of it all, life will go on after Tuesday.
And in fact, if I stop to think about it, all this work on my plate really is an enormous blessing. I get to love what I do for work. My words can potentially encourage you and your family to go and be brave and do things that better align with your passions and priorities.
Yes, please. I’ll take another mashed potato portion of that. Any day.
Guys, thanks. Thanks for letting me be a bit crazy here on a Friday. And thanks, to those of you who have, for pre-ordering the book. It should be in your mailbox in the next few days. You still can, if you haven’t yet.
Time to watch Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch.