It’s been quiet here on the blog the past few weeks as I’ve been focused on the release of my book, Show Up and Bring Coffee: How to Support Your Friends With Disabled Children. Now, fueled by a little inspiration and a lot of fun-sized candy, I am finally returning to writing.
Last week was Halloween, a day to pretend to be someone else. Over the years, my costumes have included everything from Minnie Mouse to Cruella DeVille to Katy Perry.
This fall, I’ve taken on a new role – author – and to be honest, it still feels a bit like I’m playing make believe.
I have wanted to be a writer since elementary school. I was always reading The Baby-Sitter’s Club and American Girl book series. I would write my own stories at home on our clunky early-1990s family computer, or at school on looseleaf paper in the back of my Trapper Keeper. In high school, I began to focus on journalism instead of creative writing. That interest continued to grow in college, graduate school, and my professional career.
While I always have at least two books I’m in the middle of reading (one fiction, one nonfiction; and one electronic, one physical copy), I stopped thinking about becoming an author a long time ago.
When Melinda Martin, an INCREDIBLE brand strategist I work with, suggested I write a book, I gave her every reason why I shouldn’t. I didn’t want to share private details about my son and his health. Who would want to spend money to read my thoughts? And did I really have enough to say to fill an entire book?
Melinda listened to my concerns, and soon came up with the idea of writing a book about how to support friends with disabled children, based on my own experiences. She sent me the following message, and it has stuck with me ever since:
As you step fully into your leadership as an author, the world craves to see all of you emerge. It is imperative that you do, not only for you to experience the full extent of your joy but to reflect to other moms and families reading your book that navigating mothering a disabled child can exist WITH joy and vibrancy!
I still struggle with imposter syndrome almost daily, but I have been working to combat it by remembering the bigger purpose. I wrote Show Up and Bring Coffee to bridge the gap between caregivers and their support systems. I want other parents of disabled children to feel less isolated and helpless. I want their friends and family to know how they can best help – and what to say (or not say).
It is this resolve that has led me to break out of my comfort zone and start the marketing/promotional phase of my book. I posed for a professional branding photo shoot. I attended my first book-signing event. I filmed my first on-camera interview. I even participated in my first podcast interview. I am becoming more confident with each additional engagement.
So let’s hope that, unlike that Katy Perry Halloween costume I wore in 2010, being an author only gets more comfortable over time!