As you already know, my new book was released last week. If you happened to miss it, please read my post here.
It has been amazing to see the number of people—many I haven’t talked to or seen in decades—who have reached out to congratulate me. When I got home the day of the book release, I was greeted with flowers, champagne, cards, balloons, not to mention the calls, texts, emails, mail and tons of social media responses I received.
The supportive reaction I got from so many really made me think how this specific accomplishment, of writing a book, compels people to get excited for you and give you overwhelming praise. It made me think about all the things you or your spouse may do that don’t get all the fanfare, but are equally, if not more worthy, of praise. Things like helping your child through a really hard time, creating wonderful things in your kitchen to feed your family, navigating tough decisions, illness, job losses, or depression. Maybe you have been working through some really tough marriage or parenting situations that are too sensitive to talk about. To all the unseen accomplishments each of you achieves on a daily basis, here is my fanfare parade for you. Good for you, for making your spouse’s favorite meal, even though it takes a little longer, because you know they love it! Good for you, for not screaming at your toddler for interrupting your Zoom call! Good for you, for saying, “can we just order pizza tonight?” after a long day of remote learning! Good for you, for biting your tongue and not snapping at your spouse, realizing they are under a lot of pressure!
This week, I’ve gotten many questions and comments from people that have started reading my book. I decided I’d like to share the answers to these questions in my blog, so here’s a little behind-the-scenes commentary from me.
Q &A with Lori Epting, author of From Chaos to Connection
How long did it take you to write this book? How did you find time to write a book with a job and kids?
It took forever. Seriously. The writing was only half the battle, but the process of editing and publishing was an entirely different feat. I would compare it to a slow drip—something that I chipped away at over time. There were times I was so frustrated in how long it was taking to complete the whole process, due to managing all the other things—kids, a job, taking care of a home. I kept feeling like if I could just put everything aside for a few weeks, I could really make some progress. But how does one put aside their family and job for weeks at a time? It wasn’t an option. So I had to get comfortable with the snail’s pace I was on to complete this. And guess what? In the end, I’m convinced the timing was perfect. To all of you couples who are sacrificing your dreams, careers and aspirations to raise your children and be there for your families, you are doing amazing work. It may not be the kind of work people send you balloons for, but it is just as deserving.
I could barely get my laundry done during COVID. How did you manage to write a book?
I have received so many comments like this from people; mostly comments that diminish their own efforts. I want to be transparent: I had a ton of help from every direction. And, I put a lot of life’s tasks on the back burner at times during this process. For example:
- My mom comes to my house every Thursday and Friday to help with the kids, and like Mary Poppins, manages to do laundry and often cook a family meal.
- My husband cooked dinner for the last three months while I sat at the table on my computer. At one point he asked, “Do you think you will ever cook again?” “It’s debatable,” was my reply.
- My wonderful friend and neighbor, Katherine Bartis, did a majority of the editing and helped me with each step of the publishing process. She was pivotal for me and a huge reason the book was ever completed and published.
- I didn’t do laundry or pick up the house for the past two months. Seriously, I’m so glad during COVID people aren’t visiting as much because my house was a train wreck.
- It took time away from my kids. I felt guilty when my kids wanted me to play and I was trying to finish editing a chapter.
- The list goes on and on.
How does your husband feel about being talked about in your book?
He did read it very early on, before I edited it, and he actually hasn’t said anything negative. I’ve been too afraid to ask at this point, because there’s nothing I can do about it now!
How do you feel now that it is out there?
It’s a mixture of excitement and pure terror. I’m so relieved it’s done and out in the world and off my computer. At the same time, putting my words out there for people to read, judge, and criticize is always terrifying. My anxiety would build many times during this process and I would think, “Never mind . . . stop the press . . . I’m not going to do this.” My hope that it could actually help couples allowed me to quiet my anxious mind. Today, my excitement to help marriages outweighs my fear of being criticized.
Will you write anything else?
For now, just my marriage blog. But, I absolutely love writing. It’s as enjoyable to me as watching a TV show or hanging with friends. Nothing about it feels like a job or a chore, so setting time aside to do it feels like an enjoyable hobby, something I get excited about doing. You never know when inspiration will strike.
Thanks for reading!!