My Internet Rule #2: IRL
So maybe this is a post for me, far more than it’s a post for anyone else.
Bread & Wine will be released two weeks from today-ish (You’d think an author would know a few more details about these things, but that’s not the case. Amazon decides to ship, and I know it’s happening when I get a text from a friend that says, “OMG: your book just arrived at my house!” Or at least that’s how it happened last time around.)
In any case, we’re close, and it’s time for me to remind myself about my Internet Rule #2: IRL. (Here’s my Internet Rule #1)
IRL=IN REAL LIFE. Real life matters more than the internet.
This is not the kind of thing you’re supposed to write about right before a book comes out. We’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do—fancy new headshots, beautiful new videos, sparkly new website, the wheels of marketing and publicity whirring and filling up my inbox with articles to write, trips to take, people to talk with.
I know what I’m supposed to say right now: what I’m supposed to say is, “Yes! Yes, I’ll do anything you want!” I’ll guest post on your blog, comment on yours, reply to your email within an hour of it hitting my inbox so that I seem “friendly and relatable to readers.”
I am, actually, friendly and relatable, I think, but I can’t always live up to the internet’s expectations for what friendly and relatable looks like. Something’s going to have to give these next few weeks.
So this is what’s going to happen: I’m going to trust you. Instead of driving myself crazy and parking myself in front of my laptop to control, control, control what is utterly outside my control—namely, whether or not you like this book–I’m going to trust that you will see my heart and my love and my gratitude and my excitement about it even if I’m not online 27 hours a day trolling the internet for ways to tell you that I’m here and I wrote a book.
I’m going to trust that you have what you need from me, the best thing that I can give to you—namely, a book that I’ve put so much love and soul into. That’s what I can offer to you. That’s what I’m thrilled to offer to you.
I know plenty of people who give the very best of themselves to what they’re putting on the internet, and their church or their town or their friends or their family gets the scraps. Listen: I’m a pastor’s kid. I know that there is never enough time, never enough energy, never enough of everything to go around.
And I also know that there’s only one way I’m going to make the math work in my life: IRL above all else.
The people who know me IRL will get the best of me. And if something has to give sometimes, if I can’t be present and available every second to the great powerful vortex that is the internet, that’s going to have to be okay.
You can trust that I’m reading board books to Mac or sounding out Spiderman books with Henry. You can trust that I’m with my husband or with my friends, people who know me well and keep me sane in what can feel like a little bit of a swirling season. When things get crazy, I’ve learned along the way to dig even more deeply into IRL.
This is the thing: the best of me is not my writing, not in my books, and not on my blog. The best of me is what I give to my husband, our boys, our families, our dear friends. And in a season that sometimes feels stretched to breaking, I won’t allow them to suffer. My first priority is and will always be IRL.