The messages from my publisher usually are short and to the point. My heart skips a beat each time I see her name pop up on my messages. In February of this year, I had plans. I renewed my passport. I was to apply for a visa. I had a mental map of the places I wanted to be in India promoting my book. I wanted to create spreadsheets, make marketing plans, draw up a list of contacts who can spread the word.
All of those plans and dreams came to a screeching halt in early March. I reconfigured mentally. I figured with everything being shut down, the likelihood of a book release in the near future is unlikely. At this point, I do not have a date. We have been plugging away one edit at a time. I am at that point where if I see the book one more time I will puke. I read sentences and passages and feel there are a million ways it can be better. I am exhausted.
Then, the sample illustrations came and my heart soared. The illustrator is incredible. Her work has the feel of the world R. K. Narayan created. They are classic. They are simple. They capture the essence of the people I birthed in my head. Even if not for the story, the illustrations are enough to make people fall in love I reasoned with myself.
The days pass. There are weeks of silence. The activity is sporadic. Today I sat and worked on an “About the Author” piece and the back-jacket copy. Nothing I write feels okay. Imposter syndrome is back in full force. I walk around the home like it is an out of body experience. This is not happening to me. This is not my life. The words echo in my head.
This is way further on the journey than I had ever imagined myself on. It is surreal. It is dissonant especially given the circumstances our lives are meshed in. Someday I hope back to come back and read this post to remind myself of this feeling. This absolutely humbling, scary place I am in.
The year ahead is uncertain. Sometimes it feels like life itself is uncertain. Amid this, I am treasuring these moments of unrealness, this buoyant feeling I cannot name.