My new novel, The Dirty Book Club, is one week away from dropping and with that comes the usual set of jitters: Will anyone buy it? Will anyone like it? What am I going to wear to the launch party? According to the R.S.V.P. list it’s going to be packed. What am I going to say to these people?
Those jitters have rattled me 31 times before and I survived. But this time is different. This time my book is for adults. And adults can be so judgey. I will feel the judgement in their polite smiles, their hurried exchanges, the absence of holiday cards. I will feel it.
Now, if you, my dear reader, ever wrote to me and said: “Lisi, I’m afraid of being judged, I’m afraid of letting people down, and I’m afraid I’m not going to know what to say when I take the stage to talk about my book,” I’d say: “There’s a word that helps me when I spin out. That word is INTENTION.” But I wouldn’t leave it at that. I’d add: “Identifying an intention before you act is like putting a stick in the fan of your insanity. It reminds you why you’re doing the thing in the first place, what’s worthy of your focus and what’s not.” Then I’d loop you in to the conversation I had with myself earlier today because it helped.
Q: Lisi, when you wrote the Dirty Book Club, what was your intention?
A: My intention was to tell a smart, funny, sexy story about the power of female friendship.
Q: So it wasn’t about selling a lot of books or getting good reviews.
A: God, no.
Q: Would you say, then, that you accomplished what you set out to do?
A: Yes, Lisi. I would. I love this novel.
Q: Lisi, when deciding to hold your launch party at a dive bar instead of a bookstore what was your intention?
A: I wanted my friends to have fun. I wanted them to bond, let loose, and inhabit the spirt of the book.
Q: Do you think that will happen.
A: Yes. Everyone is excited and eager for a wild night out.
Q: Lisi, what is your wardrobe intention for that night? Are you looking to break hearts and/or get approached by a modeling scout?
A: No. I want to be me. I want comfort with a whimsical flair.
Q: I understand you got an XXL T-shirt from the bar and are having it made into a dress for the event. Do you think that will bring the “comfort” and “whimsical flair” you were hoping for?
A: How could it not?
Q: Lisi, what do you want to convey to your readers?
A: I want my everyone to know that this a book about the power of female friendship. I’m going to make that the topic of my presentation at the event.
Q: Is that something you feel passionate about? Like, enough to talk about it?
Q: Then what are you stressing about?
A: You mean other than the fact that I’m interviewing myself and that’s kind of weird?
Q: Was your intention to interview yourself?
A: It was, Lisi. It was.
Q: Then you accomplished that too.
A: Yes. Yes I did.
That’s intention. It brings focus to the mission and keeps you on track. A reader named, “Fashion Challenged” wrote in to ask what’s in style right now. And to her I say, “What’s your intention?” If it’s to look good and feel great I suggest staying away from what’s “in style” and going with what looks good on you. Those high waisted Levis are in style right now. But since my intention is to NOT have a flat butt and camel toe I am going to wait for that trend to pass and stick with the cuts that work for me.
And so, my friends, before you have that heart-to-heart, ask yourself what your intention is. Ask before you hit the gym, before you say yes to something you know is bad for you, before you gossip, before you go on a date with an a-hole, before you join a club…Identify your goal first, then keep reminding yourself of it along the way. Jitters hate when you do that and will leave the instant you remind them who’s in charge.
Now if only I could find a solution to cuticle picking…