In honor of Happily Never After’s 10th Day Publishing anniversary, here are five things I have learned since:
People do things on their own time: I would be lying if I didn’t secretly hope on the official publishing date, everyone would bum rush to their computers to snag their very own copy. Of course, that did not happen because no one really knows what the book is about, and I am finding that, even those so involved in the process still have yet to order a copy. But hey, that’s just fine. It’s kind of like putting on a wedding; while it is the most important day for the bride and groom, it’s not the most important day for all the guests, so if people can’t come, the bride and groom can’t get too upset. Of course, I know how much work I put into the book, but no one else really knows, and everyone will get around to it on their own time–which is fine, because as adults, we are all busy individuals and I can’t expect everyone else to drop everything to read my book. They will get around to it on their own time.
No one actually reads anything on their social media pages: I can’t tell you how many people I have run into who I mentioned my book to, and they replied, “Oh yeah, I saw something about that when scrolling through my social media pages before bed”. There’s actually been quite a bit of research done about the desensitization of the computer, and how we actually do not retain any information we see on it anyways. And now that we have internet on our phones, there is even less of a reason to retain information. I am actually surprised at the slow typing speed of my students; when I was growing up, my parents would make my sisters and I trade off on Instant Messaging every 30 minutes, so I learned to type like the Tasmanian Devil in order to get all of that ‘socialization’ out. But, kids aren’t Instant Messaging anymore; they are texting, and actually, no one retains any information they see on their social media pages.
I must forgive myself: I received the first paperback version of my book, opened it up, and immediately noticed a typo. Oops. As an English teacher, this should be unforgivable, and I promise the book went through a plethora of drafts, both by myself and by professionals. But, sometimes the naked eye just does not catch errors, and neither does spell check, so I must forgive myself because it is probably nearly impossible for 85,000 words to NOT have a typo.
Maximizing brain power equals productivity and efficiency: This sounds Lucy-esque, but I do think there is something to learning to maximize your brain power. For example, some of my BEST ideas come out of the midst of misery and trauma. Shortly after my grandpa passed away, the idea popped into my head that I should create a book pitch video for YouTube. One of my favorite posts, The Virtue of Grace, came out of some post-existential crisis thought. And, just last week, when I was feeling a little apprehensive about whether I should have even published it at all, the idea to join Tinder popped into my brain. More so than that, I learned that my brain actually does process, organize, and categorize when I am sleeping, proctoring standardized tests, or during yoga, so when there was a topic I wanted to write about, I would load my brain with it, go onto my daily activity, and magically, come back to the idea, hours later, with a new understanding. For example, when I am choreographing a dance, I often times play the song nonstop in my car on the way to school so I can load my brain with the beats, the patterns, the lyrics. Then, as I am working, my unconscious works out the dance, and when I return to it later that night, something magical happens.
Everyone wants to write a book: Anytime I tell people I wrote a book, they always respond, “That is so exciting. I want to write a book too!”. And, every time I ask them what kind of book, they always say, “Oh a book about my life!”. It is true; everyone certainly has a different experience of the world, and everyone certainly has a valid story TO share. However, there is a difference between wanting to write a book, and actually writing a book. But, hey, writing Happily Never After was extremely cathartic for me, so I would actually encourage everyone, if you are feeling weighed down, to write about their break up experiences too. Just make sure you leave out any identifying information…