In order to complete my manuscript and independently publish my book, I’ve had to be bigger than any obstacle. Fortunately I’ve had the support around me to help me through my lowest times, when I felt as if I had nothing left inside to keep going. Sometimes it was deadlines or logistics getting in the way, other times it was the demands of writing, and sometimes it was my inner critic kicking up a terrible fuss.
The most recent occasion for me to have serious thoughts of “throwing in the towel” was when I discovered I wasn’t going to have any printed copies of my book, The Chocolate Pilgrim, ready for my first book launch, scheduled for September 23, 2017. It wasn’t a simple matter of changing the date for my launch. I had already arranged airline flights for two special friends to attend, I had four musicians hired for the party afterwards, and invitations to 100+ people had been sent out, with almost 60 planning to attend.
So what did I do instead of curling into a ball and hiding under the covers for two weeks? I reached inside and found my Big Why, the reason why I wanted to host this event in the first place. It was about saying “thank you” to my community of support, and a celebration of the fact that I had finished writing my manuscript. Those two things were still true, and whether I had a book in hand or not was irrelevant to the celebration and thank you.
So I hosted a “Bookless Book Launch” which ended up being more fun than I ever could have imagined. I had enormous freedom to create an event that allowed me to speak about my long walk across northern Spain, and the transformation that occurred along the way. I also spoke about what prompted me to write a book, since that was not part of any plan I had when I walked the Camino. And finally, I read excerpts from my manuscript, finishing up with my heartfelt expression of gratitude to the assembled crowd. I let myself be vulnerable, speaking about some places of pain, and also places of joy. Shortly afterwards, the band took the floor and we danced for several hours.
I’ve been told by several people that this was the “best book launch ever”. I’ve now crowned myself “The Queen of Bookless Book Launches”. If ever you want to contact me to get tips on creating an event, in spite of the barriers that show up, please contact me at www.mariemaccagno.com