Deep breath. After one more round of edits, my manuscript for Becoming American will be sent off for reviews.
I know we’re told over and over in life not to care about what anyone thinks, BUT I DO! I care all the time and am admittedly a “people-pleaser” to a fault. If someone is rude to me when I smile at them or I can tell they are whispering about me, I WANT TO KNOW WHY!
Why? Because I want to be likeable. I don’t want people to ever feel like I’m a jerk. There’s enough of them out there already.
And especially now, I really care about what others think. I really want readers to get something out of my book. Emotion. Knowledge. Something. And, I want them to like it. Maybe not all of them, but the majority anyway and especially the reviewers if their reviews are going on the back cover! After all, who wants to get a ” this book is total shit” review?
Regardless, I am thrilled for my reviewers! I’ve connected with a handful of authors and organizations and can’t wait for them to share their opinions and thoughts on the book. They’re really the first ones to read it, other than Freddy and the kids (who were almost too brutally honest and made me cut the first few pages of what I thought was beautiful writing…their thoughts? Boring! Too flowery! Boo. They’ve obviously never read Nicholas Sparks).
So, stay tuned for the positive reviews! God knows, I will not be posting any of the ones that are unfavorable!
Ever feel like your life is messy? Not a complete mess, but messy. You know, like your yard is a weedy wreck and more creeping charlie than grass? Like you have too much clutter on your countertops, dressers? Like people who are supposed to be getting back to you are not? Like people who you always go out of your way to help are nowhere to be found when you could use a little help with something?
Today the breaking point for me was trying to get my middle school daughter’s schedule to print. After finally getting it printed, it was another issue to try to figure out how to read it and lay it out in a planner to simplify the transition to middle school. Another frustration. And the dog is barking and the hamburger is burning and I’m trying to solve another issue with a neighbor and a family member and…the list goes on. And I’m supposed to feel inspired enough to write or edit or whatever I’m supposed to be doing right now.
I lost it. Over a ridiculous printing malfunction. And I don’t like to ask for help. To look incapable of anything. It’s a serious flaw.
Sterling gave me the best advice to give it a break for a while. Sad, I needed advice from a nine year old. But, he was right. I needed to walk away for five minutes before I went all “Office Space” on my laptop ( although, when he beats up the fax machine with a baseball bat, that’s my favorite scene of the movie!!!)
Anyway, it was a reminder that I need to de-clutter and simplify. My home. My life. My schedule. The running around constantly (I need to get my kids on board with this one). The other alternative is to give it all up. All the material stuff that doesn’t matter. Sell it all and travel lightly around the world. Soooo tempting. I think about this all the time and Freddy and I talk about constant travel when the kids are self-sufficient and out of the house.
UNTIL then, simplify, simplify, simplify. De-cluttering my house and schedule is like cleaning out and de-cluttering my mind and will hopefully leave space for creativity and maybe even a little peace.
If you’ve ever tucked a child into bed, or remember your own childhood, more than likely you are familiar with my all-time favorite baby book, Goodnight Moon. It was written over 70 years ago and still sells like crazy! In fact, it’s always my go-to book for baby shower gift baskets. Not only is the repetition fun for little ones (who like to add their own good-nights to every object in the room to put off going to bed), but it’s fun to read!
I was surprised to read that the author, Margaret Brown, was quite the party animal in the day and liked to throw elaborate drinking parties! So it turns out, maybe a little drinking causes creativity? If so, there’s hope for most of us (I can imagine her saying goodnight to everything in her room as it spun around her after a rough party…how she remembered it the next day to write it down, is impressive!)
Anyway, I love reading rejection letters from famous authors and this is one of my favorites! It reminds me of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie (another great!) when Freddie Mercury tells his record label, something along the line of “you’ll forever be remembered as the guy who lost Queen.”
I love how the agent confesses, “Parents do not want to answer questions at bedtime. They want their children to quickly fall asleep so they can finally read their own books,” and that they are seeking books about “kittens, colors and barns!”
Anyway, I had to share this! It shows we can’t let others put limitations on what our vision is nor can we please people all the time. Don’t worry about what others think! Odds are, someone will be positively impacted by your work, possibly even billions of babies, turned mothers, fathers and grandparents who at one time and maybe still, say goodnight to the moon and the light and the red balloon.