Thank You Letter to My Book
Contributor
Written by
Cheryl Rice
July 2014
Contributor
Written by
Cheryl Rice
July 2014

Dear Book,

After carrying the dream of you inside of me for what feels like forever, we are a scant ten weeks shy of your official launch into the world. While I’m not quite ready to say goodbye, I am ready and eager to thank you, for no matter what happens after you leave the nest, you have already given me more than I can express. 

Since I don’t want my gratitude to get lost in the frenzy of your upcoming birthday party, let me take this moment to appreciate all you have given me.

Because of you, as a first-time author, I have learned how to ask and receive help in ways I never thought possible. I have reached out for assistance from wonderful people who have helped us both grow. I have even contacted complete strangers—high-profile and highly accomplished people I wouldn’t have dreamed of connecting with, let alone asking favors from, if not for you. And their generosity has been humbling.

If not for you I would have missed knowing the sound of my own voice reflected back to me on the page. Your stalwart companionship allowed me to discover, mine, and share stories I didn’t even know were mine to tell until we met. In some ways, you introduced me to me. 

If it weren’t for you I’d still be in the Dark Ages, thinking social media consisted of movie night with friends. But now I’m tweeting and Facebooking and blogging (oh my!). People I don’t even know are following me on Twitter for reasons I don’t understand but am tickled by nonetheless. And if not for you I wouldn’t have been introduced to a new community of women writers near and far who inspire and enliven me with their own stories and openheartedness. 

You have revived my faith by having faith in me. You stayed present and patient even on days when I stood you up entirely or left you for an hour of bad TV, and on some days, three hours of great TV (Nurse Jackie anyone?).  Even when I felt completely lost, having no idea where my time with you would take me; even when my paying work was drying up and I questioned my sanity for showing up; and even when I lost sight of who, what and why I was staying with you—you remained faithful. Your confidence in me—in us—never wavered. That alone is astonishing. 

Lastly, at least for now, I thank you for calling me forth to bring my unmasked self not just into my pages as a blossoming writer, but into my intimate relationships as a blossoming wife, mother, daughter, and friend. I am showing up with a depth of authenticity I had spent years avoiding. I am bolder now. I am real now. I am exposed now and there’s no way back. 

And even if there was a retreat—I wouldn’t take it.

Love,

Cheryl

 

P.S. I would love to hear from others. What gifts has your book given you? 

 

 

 

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Comments
  • Cheryl Rice

    Thank you for your comment Elizabeth. I'm glad the post was of value to you. And yes - we're fortunate to be publishing this way. All the best to you as well. Cheryl

  • Elizabeth Rose Barker

    Cheryl,

    I love the idea of you writing a Thank You note to your book in this fashion.

    I want to thank you for your advice & help to me too, as I follow a few steps behind you now in moving towards getting my book self published as well ( since the numerous Agent Query letters that I wrote were all rejections).  It's hard to be a first time author but actually with the help of wonderful agencies like She Writes, it is much easier today than it was just 5 years ago. We'll become Best Selling Authors without their help..... Best of luck!

  • LoraRyan

    Hi Cheryl,

    It's Lora Ryan. I would love to talk with you but I can't seem to find a number. How may I contact you? Thank you so much! Lora

  • Cheryl Rice

    HI Ilona. I love your phrase, "dance of avoidance." I did that two-step with my book for about 45 years. It took the death of my mother for me to embrace the dance of writing - the dance of living. Best wishes with getting reacquainted with your project - you won't regret it. Kind regards.

  • Ilona Fried

    I love that you wrote a letter to your book! I've been doing a dance of avoidance with writing a book-length project and your letter is inspiring me to rekindle the relationship. Yes, writing does give back a great deal, if we show up fully. 

  • Cheryl Rice

    Thank you for your note, Bella. It is very kind of you to comment. Best wishes, 

  • Bella Mahaya Carter

    Lovely post, Cheryl! Looking forward to reading your book!

  • Cheryl Rice

    HI Lora. Thanks for your note. You have a lot of company when it comes to wrestling with our fears and freeing the writer within. Since I pursued partner publishing with She Writes Press, I did not write many proposal letters. But I did work with a fantastic editorial guide during my writing process and she also helped me evaluate publishing options. Her name is Anne Dubuisson Anderson and you can learn more about her at www.Anneconsults.com. Also, I'm happy to talk with you by phone to learn more about what you are up to and share ways I overcame my fears of writing. Best wishes. Cheryl  

  • LoraRyan

    Hi!
    My name is Lora. I'm working on a book yet trying to overcome the fears of writing a proposal letter. I am very new too all this and I don't know anyone in the writing/ publishing field. Any suggestions? I was very impressed and excited for your work!!! Best of luck!! Lora Ryan

  • Cheryl Rice

    I'm not quite sure how to respond to comments that have been already added so let me say thank you also to Janet, Cassandra and Elizabeth for your lovely notes. It is so good to share this experience with others who feel the same. It's like we're on the playground talking about our little ones. So precious. Best wishes to all.

  • Cheryl Rice

    Thank you, Colleen! And congrats on the upcoming publication of your memoir. How beautiful that it coincides with your birthday. Yeah Team, indeed. Enjoy the moments.    

  • Colleen Hannegan

    Oh I love this Cheryl! Yes! I hear you loud and clear! I've carried my book (memoir also) and her thoughts ideas and revelations here on my computer and in my mind for 7 years and finally I have a due date. My Aug. birthday to print, the following month out into the world. The gifts have been huge, discovered no other way, I believe. PATIENCE. PERSISTANCE. HEALING. LAUGHTER. STRENGTH. PRESENCE. 59 years in the making; condensed into 20 chapters. (The best stuff really.) All the other stuff was the intersection that brought the big stuff together. A mind blowing experience. "I am bolder now. I am real now." Awesome. Congratulations and yeah team!!

  • Janet Singer

    My book, Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery as well as my blog,ocdtalk, have given me the gift of being part of something so much bigger than myself. I have had the privilege of meeting (in person and virtually) some of the bravest and courageous people around, and I am honored to have become a respected advocate for OCD awareness. And it all started with a blog.......

  • Elizabeth G. Marro

    I would say all of these things and one more if I were sitting down across a table from my novel, perhaps with a consolation glass of bourbon to share with her. I would say, "thank you for teaching me to write." I can't image an MFA program would have been any less painful or rewarding. Where we go from here is hard to say but I will always remember what you gave to me, even as I turn to the next book. 

  • Cassandra Dunn

    Great post! I love the "You introduced me to me." I feel the same about my novel, which is all of 2 days old now! Bravo to you and good luck with your launch!