People ask me often how the book is doing. I answer that monetarily, I’ve not recovered what I’ve invested yet. It’s no exaggeration when people say authors don’t make money. They really don’t. But the intangible rewards have been outstanding!
I love hearing how the book has effected people. I love hearing that someone has been helped in some way. I’ve heard myself having a couple of conversations lately with brand new widows and what I keep saying is “No, you are not having a nervous breakdown.” They feel such relief knowing that their grief is “normal” because they feel anything but normal. Crying over a pair of shoes is NOT over the top. It’s just what we do.
As I work on the second book and keep pulling out the journal entries I wrote the first months after Tim died, I find I am torn. There is such an edge to them. They are so uncomfortable to read sometimes. My instinct is to tone them down. Make them sound less dramatic. Make me look less crazy.
But I haven’t been allowing myself to do that, at least not yet. One of the wisest pieces of feedback about the first book I got was from a counselor. She said the punch in the first book is that it was written originally in the moments it was happening to us. It wasn’t just our best shot at remembering how it was. They were real-time entries. That is why people can really identify with it.
So I imagine that people who are truly grieving will want to read the true, unadulterated and raw emotions that I went through. Because those that are brave enough to admit it, will be grateful to know they aren’t crazy after all. At least with this round of editing, I will let the pain stay expressed as it is. And it is truly comforting to know that two and a half years later, you do somehow feel better. You really do!!