From start to finish it took one full year.
And it took 15 years.
Or maybe 45.
I didn’t write a book because I got a divorce. I wrote a book because I’m a writer.
And I wanted to write a book.
I’ve always wanted to write a book.
The first book that I started was about fighting to save your marriage. Like that movie where the girl gets on the train, and where the girl doesn’t get on the train and it shows both of those lives. Yes, like that. I was going to be the Elizabeth Gilbert who didn’t get on the train. Who wept on the bathroom floor, crying out that there was nothing more impossible than staying and there was nothing more impossible than leaving and then I was going to stay.
And I did. Until I couldn’t.
The second book that I started was my tell-all. Anne Lamott says that we should tell our stories and Anne Lamott knows things. Important smart-people things and so I was going to tell my story.
All of it.
Looking back at my posts during that time, Lord have mercy. I was angry.
And if you had any opinion, any insight, any thought whatsoever that didn’t line up with my “I am the victim in this thing and just leave me alone already” theology well then bless.
I didn’t write this book as some form of therapy. Journaling is for therapy. Therapy is for therapy. Laying your soul bare and writing a book is—well, now that it’s out, I’m probably going to need therapy.
This book was censored in two ways and two ways only.
And Emma Claire.
Every word. Every confession. Every thought. Every page. I wrote with their little voices reading along. Not for today. Today’s too soon but for when they are older.
Several months ago, Coulter asked me what the book was about. I told him that there were sad parts and funny parts.
For the record, the funny parts are only funny if you have a sense of humor and understand a little something called sarcasm. If you don’t, well again..bless your—ya know—heart.
Coulter asked, what’s the funny part? I thought, trying to remember if there were actually any funny parts and I said, well I kind of make fun of Donald Trump. Well, not President Trump so much as his wall. I make fun of the wall. But I do it in a funny way. Like, maybe even hysterical way.
I can’t remember.
Oh. My Gosh. Men in black suites are totally going to come and take me away.
He laughs. Like maybe it’s “you had to be there” kind of funny and then he says, thoughtfully.
“Mom, the part about the wall? I wouldn’t put that on the cover.”
That is really good thinking, Coulter.
And I only mention the wall because Emma Claire has planned a book tour to Mexico.
Throughout this process I think people want to know why. Why are you writing a book? Sometimes it comes across with this weird “who are you to write a book” voice and sometimes it comes across with this weird “who are you that anyone would want to read your book” voice and the voice that was projected was always one of doubt. I wrestled and I tangled and I doubted myself and I doubted the process and then I finally landed on this. It was profound and deep and pivotal and it goes a little something like this—
Because I wanted to.
Because I’m a writer. Because I’m a storyteller. Because I’m a truth teller. Because life is really hard and really good and we need to laugh more and judge less.
Ok, so here’s the thing. Why should you buy my book? And not just one book, but several, several books. Like for your friends and your mother and your sister and your boss and , ya know just people in your life. I offer you the top three reasons.
- The book will sell for $16.95. That’s like 2 1/2 cups of coffee at Starbucks. And caffeine won’t make you laugh.
- I use 5 bad words. For those of you who’ve known me a long time, that’s worth the price of admission right there.
- I tell the truth. It was hard. My editor would call me out on stories where she sensed that details had been left out. Telling the truth is hard. We need to hear truth. Read truth and start telling the truth. If you don’t read my book, then find another author, another book that tells hard and real and good things. Facebook is fun but it’s the highlight reel. It’s impossible to celebrate “beauty from ashes” if we don’t acknowledge the fire.
Pearl acknowledges the fire. Whatever fire you’re walking through today my prayer is that you will come out of it and not even smell like smoke.
My prayer is that if you have a foolish, crazy dream that most people will think is ridiculous and you have no idea why you want it other than that you do want it, then what are you waiting for? Write your book. Tell your stories. Record that album. Take a painting class. Start an iPod. Wait. Not an iPod.
What’s that thing where you listen to people talking? I know it has pod in it. Or maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I also can’t remember that Wednesdays are early outs. Every dang Wednesday, my poor C-man texts me. “Mom, where are you?”
Please buy my book.
With a cherry on top.
*should be on amazon this week…I’ll keep you posted.
**thank you. really, really thank you!