It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on “book things,” because to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve had an update to share on that front. See, a while ago I took an intentional break from career to focus a bit more inwardly and on my relationships. Well, it’s been several months of this now, and I think I’m about full-up on introspection and Big Emotions for a minute –

I’m ready to dive back into my writing career!

The first thing I have on the docket for you guys is a new Kindle Scout campaign for the third and final book in the Peter Able series. The first two books were published with Kindle Press, and I’d thought that the third was a shoe-in; that I wouldn’t have to submit it to the Scout Campaign. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works, apparently, so coming up next week, I’ll be launching my third (and last) Kindle Scout campaign!

For those who have been following Peter along his journey, you won’t want to miss your chance to vote for this finale’s publication. For those who haven’t been following Peter along his journey, well, you also won’t want to miss your chance to vote for this finale’s publication! (But do be sure to check out the first two in the series before the third is released!)

The next thing coming up is: more author appearances! Last week I had a meeting with the head of Austin ISD’s SEL Program (Social Emotional Learning), and we discussed some exciting possible opportunities going forward. If you’re a parent in the Austin area and you’d like me to visit your child’s school (either middle or high school) to discuss books, or specifically, mindfulness and/or developing a positive body image, please get in touch.

And finally – it’s been a while (at least a year) since I’ve actually written a new book. So – why not write one of those this year too? The next book on my list is likely a third to accompany Just Call Me Is and Call Me Perfect. This one will cover yet another important topic for children and teens: sexuality and gender identity. I went into this a bit in Call Me Perfect, as the book’s focus was on self acceptance (though it did focus more specifically on body image); but god knows there is well enough material to create a separate book on this. I imagine the fourth book in the series will discuss addiction – specifically, living in a household (as a child) where addiction is present, and how to deal.

So, that’s my book news for now. As always, I’m continuing to write a weekly article for Elephant Journal, and will be posting those on my Facebook author page upon publication.

Hope you all are having a great start to 2018 so far!

I realize after typing the title of this post how that might sound. But I’m standing by it – not just because the middle schooler in me is going “heh. She said ‘doing it'”, but because I feel like several other writers, artists, or otherwise self-employed creatives out there will have a lot of resonance with this.

When do you know you’re “doing it”?

The “doing it” here can mean any number of things: Being a badass author, living out your dream of being an actor, making a name for yourself as an artist.

No matter your creative expression, I find that there is some imaginary line between “not doing it” and “doing it.” Between “still struggling,” and “made it.” And between “not good enough,” and “enough.”

What I’m asking, I suppose, is when do we know we’ve really done enough?

I’m putting this out there, not just because I see it in my own life over and over. But because I see it in so many artist’s lives over and over. I have a friend who is a visual artist, musician, and general Renaissance man. To those of us on the outside, it seems like he’s “doing it.” He’s booked at gigs all over the world; his art is visionary; he seems to live an exciting and creatively-fueled life.

But recently I learned that this seemingly-successful fellow does not see himself in this way at all.

Another friend is an actress – someone I admire and would actually like to get to know better. But the thing is, the woman is always busy. She seems to be booking shows left and right, teaching classes, doing standup. In my mind, she is making waves and kicking ass at what she loves.

But I wonder if she sees it that way. I wonder if she knows that to those of us on the outside, she’s nailing this whole acting career thing.

And then there’s me. For the past eight years or so, I’ve categorized myself on the side of “not doing it.” On the side of “still struggling,” “still working at it,” and “not where I want to be” in my writing career. In my mind, it’s less of a gradient and more like two sides divided by a line. I’m either “there,” or “not there.” And until I’m there, that must mean I’m not there, right?

But what if it isn’t so simple? What if there are not two sides at all, and no gradient, and nothing but:

Here.

Here is where we all are, in this moment. It’s all we’ve got. It’s the place where our stories slip from our lips, telling half-truths to anyone who will listen. In this way we create our own realities: coffins confining us, or open spaces to explore.

So what if, artists and creators, we merely choose to tell a different story – from here?

What if we forget about judging ourselves, just for a moment, for not being where we want to be just yet? For not making the impact we’ve hoped to?

For not “doing it”?

Because if you start from here, just here, you might notice that you’re doing a lot more than you thought. Give yourself some credit.

And maybe, just maybe, start to listen when people tell you what a great job you’re doing. Let it sink in.

You may be making more of an impact than you think.