Sooo, what now???
I haven’t written a blog in over a month and to be quite honest, I haven’t felt inspired to. Partly because I was busy promoting my book and partly because I was just not all that interested in sharing. It’s been a wild 6 weeks since the launch of Flipping the Script and the journey has only begun, but this experience has not been what I expected AT ALL.
In the months and weeks leading up to the book’s release, I was struggling with all sorts of anxiety. I’d been having panic attacks since my neighbor tragically ended his life and it’s almost like my psyche got so used to freaking out that as my book release grew nearer, it was sort of like, “Hey, here’s something new to make AJ go crazy…how fun!’
Except, it wasn’t fun.
Sharing your truth with the world is a terrifying experience. Allowing people to see your flaws, your fears and all the messy stuff most of us spend a lifetime hiding, isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I’ve never doubted myself more than I have these past few weeks, but I’ve also never been more proud of myself.
Promoting a book is WORK! So many of my colleagues and friends are best selling authors, so it seemed like an attainable goal. Most of them used ghostwriters, because that’s how celebrities roll, but I wrote every single word, so I thought that meant my book would resonate on a deeper level. I thought readers would connect to my personal stories and find strength in my vulnerabilities (and they have), just in smaller numbers and I’m ok with that.
I don’t have millions of social media followers that I can ask to buy my book with a single post, but I do have something far more powerful.
More people know my story than ever before and I’m blown away each time someone reaches out to share which parts of the book hit home for them. My readers are drawing inspiration from bits and pieces of the book that I hadn’t expected and to be honest, that’s been one of the coolest surprises of this process. I love that you love my book and I am so appreciative of every story you share with me, because YOUR story matters too! I wrote this book to encourage others to share their stories, so even though my book hasn’t been read by millions (YET), I am proud of myself and I am grateful for you.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and even though I wrote about the importance of NOT doing just that, I’m still a human and I am flawed. Each time I start feeling sorry for myself because someone else is selling more books or getting more opportunities to promote their book, I have to remind myself that they are on their own journey and I am on mine.
I was not raised with money, my life was not one of excessive privilege and finding success has been a 38 year struggle for me, but I’m a fighter and I will not give up on myself or on this book. It would be easy to come on here and tell you about all the highlights of the past couple of months, because there are many and I am so very blessed, but if I did that, I wouldn’t be giving you the full, honest truth.
To truth is that this process has been scary and it has been frustrating and it has been DIFFICULT AF, but it has changed me as a person. I am more resilient, I am more confident and I am more motivated than ever to grow as an author, a Christian, a boyfriend, a brother, a son and a friend. I have all of you to thank for that. You have supported me and sustained me in ways you’ll never fully understand.
Every time I feel like quitting on myself, I seem to get a personal note from someone I had no idea was paying attention to me that reminds me why I began this journey in the first place. So, I carry on, because people need my voice and I need theirs.
We were all put on this planet to connect with one another and as long as that is happening, I will continue to press forward I hope you’ll come along for the ride. God has placed some pretty monumental goals on my heart and given me visions that both terrify and exhilarate me, so I have no choice but to continue pressing forward, which has brought me to this very moment.
Today, I am excited to announce that I’m launching a campaign for the entire month of November that will revolve around the word YES! Together, we’re going to share personal stories of times in our lives when we decided to say YES to life and were pleasantly surprised by the places that simple word took us. We’re taking the NO out of NO-Vember and we’re going to FLIP THE SCRIPT on it! For the next 30 days, we’re going to live in a space of YES…we’re going to challenge ourselves and those around us to make the most of YES-Vember!
I’ll be announcing some fun ways that each of you can participate throughout the month, but for now just start thinking of how you can start saying YES to life…you can share your thoughts in the comments section below. LET’S DO THIS!