Well, here it is, the big news. A year and a half after I finished the manuscript, I finally found a publisher for The Narrow Way! It’s been an amazing ride up until now, with lots of hopes and fears rising up and passing away as I found myself tossed around on the ocean of the publishing world.
My teacher, Anyen Rinpoche, gave me some advice early on and it was advice that I would only sometimes remember to follow.
When I told him about the possibility of a fat, six-figure book deal (a little proudly I should say, sure that I was a soon-to-be-rich-and-famous author) he just smiled.
“Be fearless,” is all he said. “If you have the karma for that, then great. If not, then that’s great, too.”
Sounds intuitive, right? Common sense. Practical. Easy to follow. Especially when fame and riches are just around the corner. Turns out it was harder than I ever imagined. The ego is a tricky little devil and it’s always looking for ways to be at the center of the universe. When it finds out that it’s not, it can be a one way ticket to break-down city.
But in hindsight, I can forgive myself for falling for those little tricks. You see, the manuscript had made it to the desks of some pretty heavy-duty editors in New York. Movers and shakers. Trendsetters. Opinion makers. Three of them actually picked the book up and took it to their bosses, the ones who ultimately held the purse strings. I have to admit, this is when I found myself forgetting my teacher’s advice and instead diving headlong into the sticky-sweet waters of hope and pride.
As a result, there were days in India this past winter when all I could think about was the book deal. Sometimes I checked my email ten times a day. It was terrible, but I didn’t even notice my belly tied up in knots or my brow creased into rippling sand dunes of worry.
But when the rejections finally came, I was glad that my teacher’s words came back to me along with them. By the last few weeks of my stay, when all hope was lost and I decided that I would take the book to some smaller publishing houses, I felt liberated. I knew that it was ultimately up to me to get the book published and I felt, for the first time in the whole process, truly fearless.
So I came home and added to my to-do list: Get Book Published. I didn’t think it would happen this fast. All I aimed for was getting as many proposals out as I could before leaving for India again. But just this past Monday, after a scandalously fast courtship, Mantra Books offered me a contract. It doesn’t include designer chocolates, Learjets or expensive non-alcoholic champagne. But it does put The Narrow Way in print. For that I am overjoyed!
But more importantly, it reminds me of why I had written the book in the first place. Sure, I’d love to make a living off the sale of one book, but what I really wanted from the beginning was to share my story with people who would find some glimmer of hope in it, maybe changing if not their lives, then at least their ideas about their own limitations.
It’s a bit grand I know and I always felt a little self conscious that I thought that my life was important enough to write about. But it’s not just about my life. You see, everyone’s life is that important. Everyone’s life can be instructive, useful, meaningful and inspiring. My life can. Your life can.
And that’s the point of the whole book.
So here I am. I’m a published author in the end. I don’t know where this will lead. There are lots of books out there. More than likely mine will be swallowed up by the crowed and noisy marketplace of information. But I’m happy for now. Happy that a few people will have the chance to read it and share it and I dare say make a go at a wonderful life.
So thanks to all of you for sticking with me this far and to those just joining! You humble me with your support and encouragement. I don’t have a release date yet but it will probably be sometime at the end of this year or the beginning of next. Until then, thank you for reading and have an amazing day!