After years of writing and waiting, a burst of rewriting and editing, and a bout of finalizing and formatting stress, Elizabeth's finally making her debut...
I confess that Forget Me Not has been a continual lesson in humility for me, and I've marked her arrival on Amazon with a sort of bittersweet welcome. This story and its characters have been with me for so long... I've watched her change and grow as I've done the same. I rejoiced when her first draft was complete, then felt discouragement when I realized how much blossoming she still had left to do. I set her aside in favor of her sequel, and only seriously returned to her this past December. I dug out her deeply rooted issues and gave her a new beginning, fixing up the rest as needed. I revisited her after the proofreader spent some time with her, then again with another read-through. I've worried over her, afraid that I've let myself be too influenced by other stories, afraid that her recent changes have made her too similar to other plots and not as unique as she ought to be. I fretted over her formatting, frustrated at yet another experience demonstrating my lack of skill and understanding in that area. And I grew increasingly impatient, wanting to share her with the world and move on.
The whole thing has left my emotions in a turmoil, although my night-owlish ways, the pressures of marketing, and the knowing that I need to find another job outside the home probably have contributed to my confusion. I just feel at a loss right now, and I wish I was giving Forget Me Not a more proper welcome.
The one thing that stands out to me in this, though, is the important reminder that this is a gift. Forget Me Not wouldn't be what it is today without the help of some really wonderful people (including Elizabeth Ludwig, Rachelle Rea, and Lena Goldfinch, to name just a few). My writing lately, watching pieces fall together, has reminded me that a story - while certainly a labor of love - is not some amazing work of brilliance that I've worked out all on my own. It's a beautiful gift, a combination of inspiration, insights from others, and a passion for characters that I've been privileged to know like no one else will, as they're pieces of my heart (even if I don't know everything about them and get some of their facts mixed up from time to time). I'm not saying the stories I write are perfect or on the level of Scripture, straight from God's mouth - not at all! But I'm learning that being a writer and bringing a story to fruition aren't claims to my own fame. They're indicators of God's glory and love. They're reminders that this dream I'm living is a blessing.
And now I'm crying... Oh goodness. I'm not really sure how this post is going to come across. It probably seems ridiculous that I'm feeling unsure and contemplative instead of ecstatic at the release of another book. I just hope that somehow God uses me and this book baby for His glory and for the blessing of others. And I hope that I'll keep learning and growing through the cyclic seasons of humility.
If you want to check out Forget Me Not on Amazon, you can find it HERE. There should be a paperback version soon, but I'm not sure on the exact timing... If you wouldn't mind praying for God's will to be done with this release, I'd sure be grateful. While I am a little stressed at the thought of the blog tour preparations left to finalize, I am looking forward to that time - and hopefully my spirit will be a little lighter by then!
Thank you for putting up with my rambling release-day thoughts. Hoping all is well with each of you whatever season of humility and life you find yourself in!