I started this blog on March 9 nine years ago today. This was my first post:
The post title was just the word "integrity" and the post itself was the word's definition:
"the quality or state of being complete, unbroken condition, entirety."
I wish I could tell you why that was the first of close to 1000 posts that have been viewed almost half a million times since then. I cannot. I can tell you that I know I was decidedly not in an "unbroken" state at that point in my life.
I had just learned that after almost 2 years of shopping my novel manuscript to publishers, my agent had run out of options. Everyone had said no. The manuscript was dead. When she told me the news, I wept as if someone had died. My husband held me and then set me down in my favorite chair. "I'll be right back," he said.
Fifteen minutes later or so, he returned with a tray that held champagne, strawberries, olives and cheese. I mustered a smile of gratitude as he sat down with me and enjoyed the treats. We sat for a long time without words until I said: "You know I just can't get rid of the sadness."
And my wise husband replied: "Well, then we'll just have to keep it company."
And we did.
But in the morning I got up and I created a plan. What most of the publishers had said was that they liked the book but there was no market for a story about a half-black/half-Danish girl. Essentially, they were saying no one could relate to a story about a girl with that specific background; that there was no Afro-Viking demographic.
I set out to prove them wrong. So I started this blog to find the community that I knew was out there and would be interested in the story I had to tell.
In the years since, I have found more than community. I have found friends, and I have found my voice. Well, let me say that again: I Had found my voice.
After finally publishing that novel manuscript that would become The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin Books), I worried about what I should share. I worried that my blog writing wasn't good enough. And then I didn't have the time to write because of my touring and speaking engagements and then I didn't have the time to listen to myself.
And then a couple of years ago I decided I didn't really want anyone to pay attention to me as I healed from a very difficult ending to a very important friendship in my life.
But now I'm done hiding. And I'm done with worrying about "good enough". And I'm done with worrying about those folks I've had to let go and what they say about me.
All of that to say: I'm back. And I'm going to post regularly and it's often going to be floppy, or messy or down-right bad. But I'm ready for that feeling I had when I started this blog nine years ago. Yes, I was struggling. But I was unbroken. I was complete.