Did I order enough cookies? Are the bottles of water I bought big enough? Can we arrange the books on a table far away from the food so disaster doesn’t strike if something gets spilled? Are the tablecloths too dark? Did I get the right size napkins? Do I have enough pens? Is there someone I can borrow some clipboards from? I want to keep track of who attends my book signing so that I can tell them what is going on with me through a newsletter in the future. That way, if I have speaking gigs or more books coming out, there is a way to let people know. How cool is that?
My book signing is at the Lawrence Arts Center this coming Sunday, and I am getting a little too caught up in the details. I’m not an event planner. I don’t entertain. Neither of those has ever remotely been my thing. But I worked really hard on this book, and it is now available on Amazon. This is a way to thank everyone who supported me in the process and to celebrate the achievement of a goal that I’ve had for a long time.
It started a couple of summers ago. Once I decided I wanted to try to write a book, it took me several weeks to organize my thoughts and figure out what I wanted to say. That process was far from easy. At times I got emotional. There is something kind of frightening about putting vulnerable information out there for strangers to read. Several people suggested that I play it safe and not include such personal information. I turned that over and thought about it for awhile but ultimately decided that everything had to be included if I wanted to be authentic. And as anybody who knows me well will tell you, authenticity is majorly important to me.
I worked hard. And sometimes I wondered if it was worth it. There was more than one occasion when I had to put a draft in a drawer and leave it alone for a few weeks, just to clear my head. There were times when I wondered if anyone was going to understand what I was trying to say. Then I got some people I trust to read it and give me their feedback. That was invaluable. The rewriting began.
And there were moments when the writing was so personal that I rewrote a paragraph twelve times. And then I wrote it again. And after that, I got rid of sections of the book completely. Then I added information that I didn’t originally plan to include. And I did some more revising. And I rearranged what went where. I threw out the things that didn’t sound right. Then I revised again. I am still not convinced that this book is perfect, or even exactly what I want to say, but there came a point when I just had to let it go, or it was never going to see the light of day. I couldn’t lose sight of the fact that the purpose of this book was to get this information out to as many people as possible.
I’m in a different part of the process these days, but it is equally unfamiliar. Now I have to figure out how to let people know about this book and how to make sure college students who are going into helping professions have access to it, along with other segments of the population who just want to know more about disability issues, at least from my perspective.
But you know what? All of that is next week’s concern. Because the book signing on Sunday is about celebrating. That I got to this point. That hard work pays off. That there are people who are interested in what this book is about. And how that could potentially make a difference in terms of empowering those with disabilities in the world.
Several of my friends will be there. I heard that an email about the book signing went out to everyone in my church. One of the Lawrence City Commissioners posted the event on his public Facebook page. Lots of other friends of mine have also shared the event on Facebook, and several people who I haven’t seen in a really long time have promised me that they will come to this event.
The book signing on Sunday at the Lawrence Arts Center is about celebrating that this book is out. That I have accomplished a goal that I have had for a very long time.
It has ever been about the tablecloths.