I feel strange today. Empty. Purposeless. And kinda sad.

This is the first Saturday in weeks that I haven’t spent every waking moment working on Surviving on a Whisper. Since I woke up I’ve just been wandering around the house and wasting time on the internet, only pausing to flip through my finished book every once in awhile. I’m so happy that it’s officially published but it’s also a bit devastating. There are no sentences to fix, no chapters to format, no graphics to tweak. That’s been my life for months and now it’s moved on. It’s grown up. It doesn’t need me anymore. Book one of Arie’s story is complete, concrete and irreversible. It’s exciting and saddening at the same time. As much as I look forward to starting book two next week, the thrill and special love that I got from the first one will never be quite the same.

This is a new stage of the writing process–one that I’ve never heard of and didn’t realize existed. I thought publishing would be all sunshine and roses, not bittersweet. Not that I’m complaining or anything. I’ve got a stack of twenty freshly printed copies of Surviving on a Whisper on my table right now and they are such a beautiful sight to see. But I’ll always remember that day, November 1, 2012, when I was sitting on my bed, my laptop in my lap, my fingers hovering over the keyboard. I almost couldn’t bring myself to type any words. I was too excited and scared to death at the same time. After about six minutes of staring at the blank screen, I finally made myself type. Little did I know that those first words would be printed on a real page in a real book less than a year later.

How crazy is that? It’s a testament to me, and should be to all who know me, of one of life’s cheesiest cliches: follow your dreams, even if you didn’t know they existed. If I can do it, the cripple who never ever sticks with any project long enough to see it finished, then you can too. Fulfillment is one of the best feelings, even if there’s a bit of denial that comes along with it.