Authors are supposed to “build their platform” and put out engaging blog posts at least every couple days so that they can confidently tell their publishers that their blog gets several thousand hits a day.
This writer once wrote a book with a message that she really cares about, and technically, she should be trying to engage more readers and sell more copies to potential readers and write engaging, pithy quotes on Facebook-able photos.
But these days, never mind a blog or Facebook. She’s doing good to answer texts on her phone as they come in, and catch up on emails about once a week. Her days and minutes are full of other kinds of words–words sprinkled between coffee and meals and a couple private lessons and walks to the park and good-bye hugs.
There’s another good-bye nearly every day, and the occasions are filled with the dearest, most beautiful conversations and overflowing hearts, and little gifts handed both ways, and she repeatedly talks to herself where no one can hear, “This has been really lovely, but I have to go away and cry now.”
But mostly, she laughs and wonders at the rich blue of the sky and the fragrance of mock orange, and eats another chocolate.
Or loses herself in a riveting book. Or on Facebook. Didn’t someone say Facebook is the opiate of the masses?
There are moments when she wants to wail that she’s a homeless bird and a refugee and she’s going to hyperventilate and die when she lives in the US again after not having lived there for 19 years. Then when the histrionics pass, she knows that she’s not refugee: she has a definite place to go to, no trauma to escape from (although maybe language barrier has been a kind of trauma?), she’s not leaving with only the clothes on her back, and she is actually very, very rich.
She’s leaving what was joy and security and delight, a foreign country that gave her wide experiences and deep relationships. To uproot all of that will be hard, hard, hard, but it’s not a bad hard. It’s not a tragedy. It’s the end of her current world as she knows it, but something else lies beyond the horizon, and the earth isn’t flat, and she won’t fall off the edge and splatter to pieces.
And if she does fall apart now and then, well, that’s a fairly normal occurrence for her in any place.
Hopefully, tucked away somewhere in the next chapter of her life, she’ll find words again to put on her blog, and be able to think about whether she should try to build her platform, whatever that means.
For now, she’s focusing on loving well and finishing well.
Whatever that means.