This morning I finally changed the official release date of my latest book on all outlets, and that was a big deal. It’s a big deal because that means I failed getting this book out on time for the third time in two years. It’s a big deal because I know it could be a hundred times better and the only way to get it there is to have the same editor who worked on the first book to also work on the second book and I waited too long to let her know that I needed help until I could no longer see the forest for the trees.
It’s a big deal because underneath that failure lies a bigger one I would not realize until later in the afternoon when I took my son to the autism specialist for his annual check-up. I saw it in the doctor’s eyes – the disappointment that I failed to do the one thing I was supposed to do last year. I dropped the ball on setting up one of the most important therapies outside the home for him because I simply forgot.
Because I had my eyes on something else – fame and success as an author.
Since last year (and up until this afternoon), I’ve been all about the numbers, the numbers, the numbers. Word counts, books, series(es), rankings, copies sold and whatever else that has to do with numbers. Royalties. Whatever everyone was doing, I had to do it, too. Box set? Sign me up! Another box set? Why not? Group promos? Bring it on, baby! Newsletter subscriber numbers? No big deal! I can hit 10K subscribers in no time and write all those emails according to automation sequences. It’s a numbers game, isn’t it?
Only the target kept moving, day in and day out. Someone is having a book release party, the second one that month; another one is ranked #10 in the Amazon store, and yet another one just announced they made six figures in one month and they’re now publishing their 26th book this year. And when I hit #798 in the paid ranking in the Amazon store, I thought it was a big deal until someone told me, nah, it’s top 100.
The target kept moving.
And with my eye on so many goals, even the ones that had me writing stories far from the ones I wrote, I lost sight of the one thing I needed to do above all else. I forgot to take care of the ones who needed me. Most specifically, a seven-year-old boy who can’t very well set up appointments for himself because his mom’s got her priorities all effed up.
But today it all caught up with me. The look in the doctor’s eyes told me everything and my answer even more.
But I can’t forget anymore, not when it comes to family, and my son’s well-being, his future.
The target will always keep moving but one thing has to remain constant in my life – and that’s family. My son, most of all.
The book is delayed. Cancel your preorder if you have to. We all have to do what we have to do.