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  • Chelsey Lynford

On Publishing My First Novel

On March 1, Crossing Bridges was published by Bold Strokes Books. On March 20, it became available everywhere.
And here I am on March 23, finally blogging about it.
It’s not how I imagined my first book release. I had all kinds of marketing ideas for social media, most prepared to the point of only needing to hit the button to post. I had a schedule, properly noted and highlighted in my planner. I was ready. If any of you reading this (if anyone is reading this) are wondering why you didn’t see much of that on my various social media accounts, well, that’s a complicated answer.
Part has to do with my ADHD. To manage it, I take medication, and I stick to a routine like glue. And Post-Its. So many Post-Its. All very necessary to keep me sane. That said, I am a master procrastinator, especially on weekends when I don’t always take my meds (per doctor suggestion). It’s amazing how much time can disappear due to naps and disassociating. So time slipped away, and suddenly the book was here.

Romy from the movie Romy & Michele's High School Reunion saying "I invented Post-Its."
Part of it has to do with my mental health. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it was related, but either way, I hit a depressive state right at the end of February. My experience with depression was the biggest part of myself that I put into Crossing Bridges, specifically—spoiler alert!—for the character of Quinn. My depression isn’t exactly like I portrayed Quinn’s, but a commonality is the inability to do much of anything beyond the necessities. I tend to function better than Quinn, probably because I’m treated for it, but things like marketing were not necessary for survival, so they got dropped. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling better for a week or so now.
And the final part has to do with, well, me, I guess. Maybe it’s part of my own specific brand of neurodivergence, maybe everyone feels this way? I don’t know. I tend to build significant events up in my mind to the point of experiencing a letdown once they happen. Christmas Day as a child, being named valedictorian in high school, graduating college and grad school, my first trip abroad, my wedding (in hindsight, that particular one was probably a sign). They’re just never quite like how I imagine, and I never feel the joy/exhilaration/whatever I have decided I’m supposed to feel (but also, see above).
And unfortunately, my book release was like this. The process from when I began writing to release day was about a year and a half. It was finally here, and then…I simply felt underwhelmed. I mean, I was happy, I was excited, but whatever I had told myself I would feel, that wasn’t it. Which made it all that much harder to promote.
Being a human is hard. Life is a series of constant learning and evolving, and as much as I love learning—seriously, I would be a lifelong college student if I could make a living doing it—sometimes I wish I could just get it.
But better late than never, right? And hey, there’s always the next book, which speaking of, chapter 19 is calling my name…
Be kind and show love.
xoxo, Chelsey

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