a loss for words

Ever since the publication of Counting Colors was set in motion, I’ve felt a strange inability to write. Obviously, I’m physically capable, but forming words into sentences, and then sentences into coherent paragraphs, has been laborious. Every word is hard fought.

Holding my book in my hands, seeing my words on each page, and knowing I created this collection of words, is surreal. Exciting, yes. And also bizarre. I know I at one point was able to be creative, to arrange my words, to produce words. And I’m sure at some point in the future I will find my words again.

But right now I feel like that part of myself is atrophied, dehydrated, waiting for my thirst to be slaked.

This is normal, or so I’m told. I liken it to a sort of postpartum (post-published?) blues. Though I’ve never dealt with pregnancy or post-pregnancy hormones, and I realize this in no way compares to the seriousness of true depression, it’s as if now that I’ve birthed my book, the part of me that held my collection safe, nurtured it, is left empty.

A part of it, I’m sure, is the shift to now letting people know my book has arrived, promoting it, planning a celebration, pushing myself to tell people my collection of words is here. That’s not natural for me, for many writers. Just the word marketing feels foreign on my tongue, almost as if swearing.

Though you wouldn’t know from the last several posts, it feels odd, wrong even, to provide information repeatedly about this thing I’ve accomplished. Reaching out to bookstores, telling my hairdresser or foster care supervisor, asking people to come hear me read – all these take a toll on me, drain me, require extra energy I don’t have.

I am excited about it, but while I walk this new road of publication, my words may not flow easily, as often. This is a new season, one I haven’t experienced before. And I suppose that’s okay.

grace for each moment, one moment at a time

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