Within an hour after giving birth to two of my three babies, I vomited.
I don’t know if it was a release of emotions, nerves, or physical exhaustion. Perhaps it was a reaction to medication. Or maybe that’s just my body’s response to childbirth. Unforgettably, passing off your newly swaddled baby to Daddy or a nurse so you can puke isn’t exactly awesome.
In the middle of last week, I received a box of early copies of my book, Mission Ready Marriage. I was like a hawk watching for the UPS man and then when the box arrived, I waited almost an hour to open it up. #weird
I don’t know what is normal or par for the course with the emotions associated with writing a book, but to me, much like my childbirth experiences, I wanted to vomit.
I have been faithfully pouring out my heart in the form of blogging for over eight years. Something about blogging feels safe to me. I don’t think too much about what I write. I write about what’s going on in my head or heart and hit post/publish. In the world of blogging and internet writing, today’s news is already forgotten by tomorrow. But a book feels more permanent, more weighty, and more delicate.
Earlier this year, I made the decision (with Ryan’s blessing) that I would self-publish. This book project has been a personal goal of mine and after much consideration and prayer, I decided that I wanted to skip the process of shopping for a literary agent and going a traditional route. I know that process can sometimes take months, years, or never happen. Selling your ideas and passion to someone else can be more intense than writing the actual book.
By choosing a more low risk form of getting my book out into the world, I have in some ways taken other high risks. I have been the one to design the cover, to edit the ideas and words, and to spend our money getting the idea into something tangible. I am not an expert and I took a risk in going forward with this book anyway.
I already know that it’s not perfect.
There’s something just a bit askew on the cover. I’ve already found a few grammatical errors in the content that I spent 463 times combing through. Maybe some of the ideas or sentiments don’t quite convey. And those are just the technical aspects.
This book is a memoir. I worry that maybe I was too honest or not honest enough. I question whether or not I represented the events with accuracy, if I overshared my emotions, and if I offended anyone in the details. Deep inside me, there’s a huge fear welling up about opening up that box of books, sharing the links for you to buy it, and fully exposing myself and my struggles that I shared. It won’t resonate with everyone; some may call it amateur or simple and that’s just fine.
I suddenly feel the need to apologize for something that I should be proud of. I feel the need to hide something that could quite possibly give others a message of great hope. I feel the need to shut up, quit writing, and hide this little light of mine. I know that’s not truth, that’s the lie of fear.
The complete irony of all of this is that this theme of control, the need for perfectionism, and my subsequent, utter brokenness is a major theme of my book and my life. In Mission Ready Marriage, there’s a repeated idea that God can still use things that are imperfect and blemished for His purposes and His good.
I am inside about a two week window of having links to both print and electronic copies available to the public. I am praying, as I have throughout the entire process of giving birth to this book project, that God would be glorified and lifted up. I have done my best to be obedient to deliver a message God has been weaving in and out of my life for a few years now.
The baby is here. I’m getting her all swaddled up and ready to meet you. Let’s hope the nausea stays away.