Not that long ago a friend and established author assured me that it would all seem real when I got the book in my hand. What I took away from the conversation was the sense that writing can feel ephemeral and abstract, for most of the process occurs in one’s head–a dialog of one. In truth, the struggle for me has not been to see the tangible products of my effort. Instead, the challenge has been to acknowledge the accomplishments.

When I first committed to finishing The Song of All, I always focused on the next hurdle, both in the craft and the profession. I had a steep learning curve in each area. It was difficult for me to stop and say, “Well done, you!” when I found myself deficient in so many ways. Plus, the nature of rejection inherent in traditional publishing reinforced in me, not a sense of failure, but rather another hurdle to surmount. Even when I reached the level of being agented, the next mountain rose, and the vista beyond appeared populated with peaks even higher and more intimidating, both for what I knew of them and for what I did not know of them.

I am standing on one of those peaks now. I am looking back and seeing all those accomplishments that I did not acknowledge along the way. I am also present in this moment where I am grateful, not only to all the people who have helped me get to this point but to those who have lovingly made me stop and celebrate. It is a beautiful moment, one which has taken a while to sink in, one which I am so honored to share with you. Writing may be an isolating endeavor–a dialog of one–but the unveiling of a book is very much the celebration of a community.