Reflections From the Finish Line

I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, friends, and I apologize. I hope the absence is forgivable in light of what I was busying myself with the last few months: the upcoming release of my book!

The last 60 days have been tough, but incredibly rewarding. Having never sent a book off to be published before, I suppose I didn’t have much in the way of expectations, and I certainly knew the process wouldn’t be easy, but the reality was actually even more grueling than I could have ever anticipated. In the end, I managed to make some pretty significant—and incredibly beneficial—edits to the manuscript in an awfully short window of time. Every day for nearly a month, I would wake at 6, work a full day, come home to walk and feed Mona, and then I’d sit down in my home office for at least 6 or 7 hours of editing, only to start the whole exhausting routine all over again the next day. It wasn’t easy and the lack of sleep definitely wasn’t a good look for me, but I’m rather proud of the work I did. I never thought I could say this, but I know with complete confidence and calm that my book is absolutely the best I could possibly make it.

When the day finally came for me to approve the last few remaining revisions and send off my little brain child for typesetting, I was anxious about really being finished with something that has taken me 10 years to create. The moment approached in an anticlimactic build-up, and I felt like I needed to do something that would signify or commemorate this momentous occasion. So as I made one final sweep of my manuscript, dedicated it to my father and my family, I turned on my dad’s favorite movie, “Jeremiah Johnson”. I half-listened to the movie, only registering key plot points of lines of dialogue intermittently. There were moments when I stopped to reflect on the landscape of the film, or to let one of those iconic lines of dialogue resonate in my mind; at times it almost felt as if my father were speaking to me through the movie.

Many hours later, as I pressed the “save” button one final time, I felt a sudden rush of weightlessness, almost dizziness. I instinctively placed my hand against my heart and felt the heavy burden of this opus leave me. And then it was finished. Finished.

 

While many of my friends spent their twenties pairing off and having babies, I spent mine conceiving and gestating this book. I myself of course originally had plans to make babies of the human rather than literary variety but I wouldn’t change a single thing looking back on the last decade.

Sure, the journey is just beginning, I suppose. As my attention turns to the marketing and promotion of my memoir just as it moves past the actual creation of it, I know I need to muster up all my gusto to hit the road and sell my wares. I do believe I have the energy and the passion to read and teach from this book (already available for presale on Amazon!), to take it with me on what I *hope* will be a really successful trajectory. Still, it feels good to finally put a bandage on the very rawest wounds of my grief—at least for a few moments—in order to savor the moment. There will never be another first book, never another first galley or first peek at the first block of typesetting to carry my name and my message.

There are a million exciting things to come, but for now just being able to see my little baby take flight and head out into the world fully incubated is enough to keep me smiling.

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3 thoughts on “Reflections From the Finish Line

  1. Congrats, Tanya. Gigantic. Let me know if a book brings you to Denver. I’d love to see you and say hello.

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