You're looking lovely today. Your hair's doing that shiny thing and your eyes are brighter than normal people's eyes and maybe it's time I just compliment the heck out of you. Is that okay? Splendid.
Why do I want to compliment you? Well, I'm not trying to suck up, if that's what you're thinking. No. I pride myself on being honest and real with you. I want to compliment you because we're friends, and I think you deserve it. Sometimes we talk on Twitter, and I think you're really funny. Sometimes, we comment on each other's Instagram photos. We even blog together!
But what I like the most about our friendship is that we support each other. *cue the dramatic, let's-get-personal music*
I always knew that I wanted to write a book that you were going to like. Really, we were bound to find each other from the start. I wanted to write a book for the girl who feels awkward in the school hallway. For the mom who went to Twilight premieres and spent way too much time in Limited Too with her daughter. For the boy who would rather stay home to read than go out and drink with his friends. You, who has had your heart broken. You, who wants to fall in love. You, who would rather eat cake.
I put off writing this book for six years. If you read this page, you know that I've written version after bad version of These Are the Moments. There were so many points where I told myself, "You're just not good enough." Then, I stopped beating myself up. I started writing, instead. That's when I got bold and began sharing. And you made me feel brave. You told me to keep writing, so I did. You told me that you couldn't wait to read the rest, so I made sure you didn't have to.
You helped me finish my book in less than a year. Every time I posted a new scene or tweeted a new quote, you let me know that my words had value. If you didn't know then, I'll tell you now: that encouragement gave me the confidence boost to finish my story. You let me know that I was doing something right, and I'm one thousand percent grateful for that.
Something amazing happened along the way. These Are the Moments is a very personal book for me. There are real, true-to-life emotions tangled in fictional scenarios, and when you hand that kind of work over to the public, it can be scary. No, not scary. Petrifying. I asked myself questions like, "What if no one reads it? Or worse, what if they read it and hate it?" It reaches a point where you just have to close your eyes and let go.
That's when the really cool thing happened. (Quick Important Note: my book is about an on-again, off-again relationship.) People started reaching out to me. I would check my Twitter messages to find bubble after bubble of your stories and why These Are the Moments felt just like your story.
Thank you for that. Thank you for helping me see that books truly do belong to their readers. Thank you for not yelling at me when my book made you cry. Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you for sticking around.
Please keep sharing your stories. I promise to keep sharing mine.
Love + Confetti,