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[SWP: BEHIND THE BOOK] Behind the Book? Popcorn!
Written by
Roberta Dolan
August 2014
Written by
Roberta Dolan
August 2014

Behind the book Say It Out Loud is a very crazy author! I’m fifty days from my pub date, and eighteen days from my daughter’s wedding. I’ve taught children with special needs my whole life, but I never dreamed I’d be needing strategies for my own mind going haywire. I’m quite sure this is what ADD feels like.

Each day I wake up and my thoughts are like a bag of microwave popcorn popping. I won’t bore you with the wedding details, but if any of you have had a daughter get married you know exactly what kernels are popping related to that. As they continue to pop, more kernels explode with Facebook, Twitter, launch team, Goodreads, emails, publicist, swag materials, book launch, book order, and blog post, sprinkled over them. Within minutes my mind is like a perfectly popped bag, puffed full to the top with a bit of steam seeping out.

Next comes the decision-making process. What do I tackle first? If I take on my MOB (that’s Mother of the Bride) role I can accomplish something significant, but then feel guilty that the “book work” is being pushed aside. If I take on my author role—which takes a whole lot more organization and thought, I get anxious that the wedding day will be here and nothing will be quite ready.

So what’s the solution? Well, I’m still trying to figure that out. My thirty-three years in special education taught me how to organize, strategize and meet goals. It just isn’t so easy when it involves the two most important events of my life: my book release and my daughter’s wedding. My plan is to set a daily goal for each event before I go to bed. If this works, when I wake up there should only be two kernels popping around in my head. Once the goals are accomplished I can check them off my list and decide what I want to do with the remainder of my day. That night I’ll set two more goals for the next day.

If my plan works, on September 5th a beautiful bride will have the wedding she’s dreamed of, and by October 7th Say It Out Loud will be released with a bang! Not the microwave popcorn bag kind of bang but a well-organized, publicized, filled-with-pride kind of bang.

When life feels overwhelming, isn’t it easy to get nothing done and hard to see that checking even one thing off a list will bring some relief? Try setting simple goals, making lists, and ticking things off one at a time.

That’s my plan--but if you have another suggestion, I’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t guessed already, my goal today was to get this Behind the Book blog post written—Check!

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  • Roberta Dolan

    Carson and Cheryl, Thanks for your tips. Cheryl sometimes I think my "overload" is really not believing the joy in my life. I truly am blessed.
    Carson, my daughter calls me her wedding manager, I just told my best friend she needs to be the MOB manager!
    Wishing you both my best. Roberta

  • Cheryl Rice

    Hi Roberta. Great post! I so relate to your popcorn metaphor and wish you all the best with your daughter's wedding and your book launch. The only suggestion i have to offer in addition to yours is to take a moment or two at the end of each day to savor the richness and blessings of this special time in your life. It's something i'm trying to do more of in between my own pops of corn. Kind regards. Cheryl

  • Carson Gleberman

    Admirable! You have poetically and precisely described what many if not all writers who are moms often feel, and probably moms who have any other career as well. That it took a wedding and book publication coinciding to get you to your breaking point speaks well of your ability to balance commitments during "normal" times! I would suggest just one ammendment: some days throw new, urgent To Do items in, hijacking your list, sometimes for multiple days. With the only-one-and-one approach, you have built in some flexibility for that (the rest of the day) but it might not be enough, and there may still be not enough days to hit all the must-do items. So perhaps you can also identify some MVP helpers with whom you can entrust a few hijacked items. They might not do it your way or your daughter's way, but sometimes fresh eyes bring a good creative surprise, and your stress level won't build quite so high so fast with those surprise urgent items.