Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Big news, little eBook


My eBook is now available for purchase! I'm not quite ready to fully celebrate yet because it is still awaiting official review before it can be distributed to major retailers, but in the meantime, it is available to purchase through smashwords.com. After it's reviewed, a few things could be subject to change (like the cover, which is pictured above), but it will (hopefully) be distributed to various retailers in due time. I will also be publishing it with Amazon's Kindle Direct at some point. 

I initially started writing this memoir in the fall of 2011 after reading a vulnerable, honest and inspiring book that made me want to open up about my own personal struggles. I never thought I'd actually publish it. I just wanted to challenge myself to "go there" and write as openly as my favorite memoir authors. And despite the emotional turmoil involved in "going there," it was an incredible relief to come clean about the things I've struggled with and share what I learned and how I grew from those things. 

But the more my little 17,000-something word memoir collected metaphorical dust in laptop document land, the more I started to wonder if I was doing a disservice to myself and others by allowing it to continue collecting metaphorical dust. About 17 months later, I read back over it and decided I liked it enough to put it out into the world and give it a chance. 

So I doctored it up, wrote and re-wrote a few things, proofread it a few nine times, got some wonderful people to write some wonderful testimonials, proofread it again, doubted it, called myself a self-indulgent fraud who should care more about the people being starved and raped instead of my own stupid stories about OCD and depression, formatted it meticulously, stressed out about acquiring the perfect cover, sought everyone's opinion on the cover, changed the cover, (will probably change the cover again in the future), proofread it one last time, got really nervous about publishing it, got really excited about publishing it, and to make a really freaking long, 2-year story short, it is finally available to feast your eyes upon and judge as you will. 

But before I provide you with a link, I want to provide you with a couple of excerpts. The eBook is divided up into two parts since I wanted to write about two unrelated things. Part 1 is about my struggle with OCD, and part 2 is about my struggle with post-high school depression. 

Excerpt from part 1

"Constant checking is a common symptom of OCD. I would clean my room, walk out, and then walk back in about two seconds later and stand in my doorway to make sure nothing had been disturbed during my two-second absence. Then I would walk out and walk back in again. I touched my bed, my nightstand, and anything else within reach to make sure everything was still intact. Then I would walk back out and turn right back around and walk in again. The third time, I’d usually walk around my room and closely observe everything. If I saw a spec of dust or a piece of fuzz anywhere, I’d dispose of it and then wash my hands afterwards. Sometimes I would even walk into my room randomly throughout the day and just stand in my doorway and stare.
My room wasn’t the only thing I constantly checked. I would often finish a homework assignment and then read it over and over again before feeling comfortable enough to put it away. I would typically read over any piece of work I finished about five to ten times.
I never wore shoes in my room. If I was going somewhere and needed to go back to my room to get something, I would take my shoes off at the door, get what I needed, and then put my shoes back on as I came out. Either that, or I would just crawl into my room on my knees and be careful not to let my shoes touch the ground.
No one’s feet except mine were allowed in my room. If my younger brother Garrison walked into my room, shoes or no shoes, I would order him to get out unless he had clean feet. If he had just gotten out of the shower or something, then it was okay as long as he didn’t touch anything. It got so bad that he eventually would just stop in my doorway and ask for permission before crossing the line onto my carpet."

Excerpt from part 2

“Are you depressed?” She asked me.
Yes, I think I might be. I walk around feeling worthless all the time. Nothing in my life makes sense anymore. You’re the only friend I have left. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep, and sometimes I can’t even sleep at all because I have too much on my mind. I feel like I’m constantly being judged, and I feel pathetic. I feel like my life is going nowhere. All I do is sit around wishing I was good enough and wishing I could do something right. I’m not ready to grow up, and everyone on the face of the planet expects me to. I’m not even sure I know how. I’m isolated, insecure, and I feel like shit every second of every day.
“What?” I asked incredulously. I nervously shoved a forkful of hash brown into my mouth and looked out the window. My friend dropped the subject.
Part of me hoped that she would bring it up again—that she would urge me to talk to her and tell her how I was really feeling. I was tired of convincing everyone, including myself, that I was perfectly fine. But she did not bring it up again, so neither did I." 

To purchase my eBook, click here. Yes, I think you need a Smashwords account to buy it, but it's easy and free to join. 

If you love me, you will buy this eBook. Just kidding. I'm not one of those people.

But seriously though...I really am excited about this, and I happy danced for the better part of yesterday afternoon. I would happy dance even more if I actually sold a few copies. Help a sister out? 

And finally, if/when you buy it...

a) Accept my virtual hug.
b) Enjoy it.
c) Email or tweet me and let me know what you thought.
d) Share it!

Thank you endlessly.

<3 Madison     

Thursday, October 3, 2013

When your stress level is high and your self-esteem is low

I'm having one of those days where I want to sell everything I own and hitch-hike to some faraway place where money and other humans don't exist. Unfortunately, there is no such place.

Amid financial issues, work troubles, an impending eBook release, the pressure to stop being a terrible blogger, personal worries, cabin fever, lack of inspiration, and depreciating self-doubt, I've been feeling a lot of temptation to just take a nice, refreshing leap from a cliff. I suppose it happens to all of us.

Sometimes I need to step back and summon my "inner wise woman" to tell me the things I'm too distracted or stubborn to tell myself. Here is what she has to say:

1. This will pass. It always does.

2. Writing and releasing a memoir is not self-indulgent. It's brave and inspiring, and as long as you know your intention behind writing it, it doesn't matter what anyone else may or may not think.  

3. Keep trying to please yourself, and stop trying so hard to please others.  

4. Stop taking everything so personally.

5. Happiness is a choice. That sentence would've pissed you off about two years ago, but now that you understand how powerfully true it is, remember it the next time you decide to dig yourself in a hole.  
6. Stay in touch with the people who love and put up with you. Write "call or text so-and-so" on one of your daily to-do lists if that's what it takes. Being totally alone in the world isn't fun. You would know.  

7. That $5 you spent on the ice cream you just had to have could've gone towards something useful. Like feminine products. (TMI. Whatever.) The unfortunate truth is that you are very poor right now. Start acting like it.

8. Celebrate your little victories. And for God's sake, give yourself a pat on the back every once and awhile. There is nothing wrong with celebrating yourself.  

9. When you don't feel inspired, don't blog. Or your blog posts will suck.

10. October is your favorite month, and it only comes once a year. Enjoy it.

<3 Madison