Am I happy I wrote the book?!?
What happens after you write your book? You get busier!! Gone are my long open days of writing (ha, and I thought those were a challenge when they were happening!) and in are the constant outward facing moments of promoting the book and working with clients. People constantly ask if I'm so happy that the book is out. Truth be told, I don't quite have the answer to that yet.
In that first month of launching the book and becoming a "published author" I just felt raw. Like a newly emerged butterfly I felt wet, cold, and a little more than unsure of what just happened. Still folded up and covered in sticky goo, I had no idea how I felt about this transformation, or what was coming next.
Similar to when you have a baby, no one could talk to me without bringing up the book. I was offered congratulations by no less than a hundred people. Do you know how weird it feels to be congratulated that many times, sometimes more than 20 in an hour? For an introvert, this kind of attention was an overload for my circuitry.
So I did what any sane person would do: nothing. Sticky goo after all, is not a state I know how to deal with. I did not know any other authors well and hence, had no guide for how to do this transition. Instead, I dove into the holidays and tried to forget all about the book. I started looking into social media and thinking about anything but (what book?!) A membership site! Updates to my website! New photos! And don't forget all those holiday parties, appearances, and celebratory moments that weren't at all focused on me. Whew, escape never felt so good.
In hindsight, I can see that I was just trying to integrate the experience of doing something utterly new and that had stretched me considerably.
But alas, all good things come to an end. With the new year, it was time to get back to the book promoting. And answering that question that everyone asks me now "how's it going with the book?" I'm cautiously stepping into an answer that feels authentic. It's going ok. I think I can do this next part. And it's still all new.
Rather than the full outward expression of launching in November and the total retreat of December, there might be some middle ground. I'm finding other authors to learn from, I'm working more deeply with my publisher to build programs around the book, and I'm stepping into opportunities to teach and speak about the book.
I'm also learning to actually honor that I'm truly an introvert.
Not just know it as in "yes, I tested as an introvert on the Myers-Briggs test but I must be really close to the line because I actually like being with people" way that I'd been holding it before. But in the truer sense that introverts may like other people but they do not get their energy refilled from being with others—it gets refilled by spending time alone.
I'm redoing my weekly and yearly schedule to actually give me time to refresh between events and to only work when my energy can manage it. This requires a kind brutal honesty that I've never had the courage to bring into my business before. My fingers are crossed that it's going to work better this year than it did last. I have no desire to be covered in goo when my second book comes out later this year.
If you want your business to flourish, you have to have the courage to get brutally honest with yourself about how you are actually designed, not how you wish you were.
You could say I'm emerging into this new stage of flight. Like the butterfly, I am building strength in my wings by taking short flights. And trying to stop along the way when I need to rest or to drink sweet nectar. It's still dizzying sometimes when I think about my former caterpillar self of last year. But I can honestly say that yes, I'm happy to be here. I guess that means I'm happy I wrote the book, too.