Do What You Love

At long last, the cover art for my first novel.
Originally, the title for this post was going to be ‘The Wai-ai-ting Is The Hardest Part.’ A subtle nod to one of my first rock loves, the poet god of telling it like it is, Tom Petty.

Then I thought maybe I’d be oh-so-clever, and change it up to ‘The Wri-ii-ting Is The Hardest Part,’ a not-so-subtle bow to how I’ve been spending my days and nights.

See, my writing partner and I are one spell check away from finishing our second novel. And that’s the kind of end line that deserves a YIPPEE-MOTHER-EFFIN-KAY-AY. Confetti, champagne and cheese fries wrapped in new clothes from Anthropologie, boxed together with a litter of baby kittens.

In other words, sheer, reckless joy.

But writing that book has consumed the better part of a year–and sure I've had epiphanies, passion, and gratitude–but also a disproportionate amount of time spent unshowered, in five day-old sweats,working from the comfort of my unmade bed. All culminating in a brief descent into madness.

Along the way, I have struggled to also keep three children alive and reasonably on time, earn enough freelance money to keep my husband's hair on his head, and on occasion spend time in the real world talking out loud to other people instead of to myself.

So, the prospect of that work being done is appealing, yes. But the reality, less so, because I’m learning that the book biz is one helluva waiting game. Waiting for your agent to find time to read it, then waiting to find out what she thought of it. Waiting for publishers to show up and (hopefully) bid on it. Waiting for your editor to get it on the schedule and release it. And waiting for readers to (hopefully) discover it.

My first novel, Copygirl, got sold to Penguin Group last April, and we didn’t even sign the contracts until eight months later. I didn’t see cover art until this December, and the book won’t be coming out until October. That’s a lot of untils and a long way away, which is why I have scarcely mentioned it.

Imagine hunting high, low and to the ends of the earth before finding the perfect pair of boots, only to be told you have to wait 15 months before you can wear them.

Like Tom Petty sang, it’s the hardest part.

When my editor sent my partner and I mock-ups for the cover, I kind of thought, Wow, this is really happening, huh? One of these days, I will have published a book.

Then a couple weeks ago, I got a check in the mail–my first advance. I was like, Alrighty! Someone has paid me to write a novel! NOW can I call myself an author?

And even still, this next chapter of my life still felt light years away. So book two is done. So what? And now what? Other than more waiting.

Then something crazyfunnycool happened. I was procrastinating that final spell check, googling my partner’s name on Amazon to see if the Kindle single she’d written was available to buy yet. And this is what popped up.

That’s right. My first book is listed on Amazon, and available for pre-order. In one click of the internet, I finally feel like I’m being published. And of course it’s YIPPEE-MOTHER-EFFIN-KAY-AY, plus the confetti, champagne, cheese fries, new clothes and kittens all wrapped up in infinite Christmas mornings.

But it’s also am amazing reminder that things are always happening behind the scenes, even when we think we’re at a standstill. Life’s got a way of springing joy on us when we least expect it.

It made me think of one of my favorite magazine ads of all time, not one I’d written but one I wish I wrote:

It was an ad for Southern Comfort, urging us to "Do what you love. The rest comes.'  I clipped that ad out and had it hanging in my work cubicle back when I was still a nine to fiver. Like that job, the clipping is long gone, but it’s message has always stayed with me.

The reward is in the doing. There are the people who talk about what they want to do. And there are the people who are buckling down and doing it.

As I make those last tweaks on my second book, I can’t help but wonder. Is it The END?

Or is this just the beginning?

For now, all I can do is keep living my dream. It’s a big one, and I don’t know where it will take me.

But I’m doing what I love. That’s all any of us can do.

The rest will come when we least expect it.

Be a love and pre-order my novel, won't you? Do it now. Do it for you. Do it for me. Do it for all the dreamers everywhere.

Sure, you could wait until it hits book stands, but our life is NOW. Plus you'll lock in the lowest price AND make my publisher think maybe I'm something special :-)


  1. THE DREAM IS REAL! Keep living it. Love, your writing partner who is about to on vacation but will call you as soon as I get back (promise! wink)

  2. Thanks for that, and for being part of making the dream happen. BUT doesn't the word 'partner' imply we are in this together? Including (and especially) vacations??? TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!

  3. I can soooo relate to this! We are lucky that we do what we love and that (sometimes) we even get paid for it! You go ... xo

  4. Thanks Amy! I remember two ex-Patch writers sitting around having coffee, dreaming out loud about what was next. What a difference a few years makes! We go, girl!

  5. So happy for you! You worked so hard for this and for so long. Congratulations! Can't wait to hear all about it when we catch up!


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