I'd like to hop back to Christmas Eve real quick before I move on. I was in Nashville with Ian as we were wrapping up our holiday visit with his family. We were set to drive to Chattanooga that morning after church. Of course, I woke up early and was going through my morning routine with my phone. I always start by checking my email. When you're a writer, rejection is just part of the gig. I have gotten countless rejections over the years. Over the summer, I submitted a draft of My Life Without Ranch (the book) to 50/50 press. The response I got was so heartfelt, but it was, in fact a rejection. After the rejection, I found myself inspired. I dove in to re-write the manuscript for a third time (at least). Once I finished, I sent it to 50/50 press again. I thought it was a long shot. I knew she appreciated my voice but truth be told, I was worried I would annoy her and I was so used to rejection I honestly didn't put much stock in it. Having said that, I knew this was the best draft I had turned out.
So, back to Christmas Eve. I'm going through my emails, mostly junk, and see her email address pop up. My immediate thought was, "Really?! Who sends a rejection on Christmas Eve?!" I didn't even open it right away. I went through and deleted all the Christmas Eve ad emails and then finally got back to the email from 50/50 press. The first word I read was "Congratulations." I threw the phone down in shock. I picked it back up and started reading the good news: my number one dream in life was coming true and I started sobbing. This book is so unbelievably personal. It has taken so much out of me. I've learned more about myself writing it than I have just living my every day life. The thought of people reading it is truly terrifying but because other people understand the struggle of body image and self-love, I'm getting my ISBN number, something I was starting to think was never going to happen.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that not more than a week prior to this news, I had a breakdown over a necklace breaking and cried to Ian telling him that I wanted to stop writing for awhile. It was a spiral stemming from the struggle I've had with weight for so long and the insecurity I had about getting that struggle on the page in an entertaining way. I had come to terms with the fact that maybe a book wasn't going to happen and I wanted to focus on something else. Writing is exhausting and draining and the rejection can be overwhelming. Receiving this email was the single most empowering, emotional and tremendous moment of my life. I know that's dramatic, but I AM a writer. I immediately woke Ian up to make him read the email at 7:30AM. I needed someone to verify that I was reading it correctly and then I proceeded to call my family, then Jordan and Cassandra. In the car, on the way to Chattanooga, every song made me cry like an idiot. I know it's corny but I LOVE sappy Tim McGraw songs. His song "Humble and Kind" came on and I flipping lost it. Ultimately, the song is a message to people to not be jerks when their dreams come true but dang if it doesn't choke me up. That day, hearing: "When the dreams you're dreaming' come to you, when the work you put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride, but always stay humble and kind." Y'all I lost it. I've skated by in some areas of my life but when I say I've worked hard on this book, I mean it. It's a wonderful feeling I can't quite put my finger on. I also cry when Paperback Writer plays now too, haha. I'm nuts. Anyway, the point is, thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive over the years. I can't wait for you to read the book this fall/winter. I can't wait to hold it in my hands.
Enjoy your Valentine's Day y'all!
Talk to you next month!