You know, it occurs to me that I spoke about this on instagram, but never properly addressed it here--which is of course ridiculous, because it is here that the story began.
I was in London two weeks ago, and while I made a proper trip of it and visited with friends and wandered with my camera in hand, I really went to meet the team at Icon Books, and hug my literary agent in person.
Let me rewind. A year and a half ago I wrote an ebook. A small little thing--just 12,000 words. But so many of you bought it, and read it, and supported me with your incredibly kind words. And then someone in the publishing world reached out about it. And that led to an email introduction with Ella at DKW Literary Agency who is exactly the sort of agent that every writer hopes for. And that then led to the promise of more words. I was aiming for 50,000 and I was sure I could deliver them in a few months time. But one month became two. And then three and then four. No words came and I woke every morning confronted by the sense that I was trying to steer a small rowboat while simultaneously emptying it of rising water. And every morning I woke expecting an email from Ella saying she had made a mistake. But many months later, alone and in the mountains, I sat and I wrote. I wrote in spite of, and then with, the fear and the frustration. It was a torturous process.
Yes, it was the best sort of problem and yes, it was a tremendously privileged experience, and yes I would do it all over again (many times over again, actually), but it was not fun. It was uncomfortable and disquieting and confronting and sticky. But nonetheless, when all was said and done, a book. And at the end of February, Icon Books purchased it; it will be released around this time next year--Spring of 2018.
It is a book that would not exist but for this here blog, and for all of you--you and your comments and emails and kind words offering usually some iteration of the following: keep going.
The debt I owe to you all is large, and may never be fully paid, but know it was you I thought of as I wrote the book. And it'll be you I think of as I edit it.
Keep going. Keep going. I will. I promise, I will.
I'm technically in London for business (more on that tomorrow), but as traveling across the pond for only a few work meetings seemed like a missed opportunity, I extended my time to visit with friends and see this city that I last visited just before heading off to college. Since arriving last Thursday I've gotten to visit with friends who live here, celebrate Laura's second book, meet a badass group of young women, and also just revel in how much life has changed since I visited Paris and Barcelona with my mother last May. That trip was the kick in the pants I needed to take big risks, to change my life. There is nothing like being in a foreign place and seeing it through fresh eyes. There is nothing like having to learn how to navigate a new underground system, or reconciling cultural differences, or wandering a museum by one's self. It is all important, it is all meaningful, and it has the tremendous power of expanding the world, simply by shrinking it (if that makes sense).