The Heart of the Matter

Dear Readers,

My first children’s book came out this spring. I have spent a lot of time, money, and effort promoting it. Although I adore my book, and I hope it brings families together and makes children feel loved, selling books is not my primary goal.

When I submitted this manuscript to a publisher a few years ago, it was in the hopes of making some extra money. I’m a single mother with a mortgage and two children, so additional income is something that I can always use. I never wanted publicity or attention; my goal was simply to earn enough to give my kids a better life. After I signed the book contract, the publisher told me what was involved in book promotion: appearances, readings, book signings, and pictures. A website and social media presence would be necessary, and a blog was suggested as a way to drive traffic to my website. I was uncomfortable with all of this and hesitant to do it, but I appreciated the opportunity that my publisher gave me; I didn’t want to let them down, so I agreed. I created a website, a Facebook author page, an Instagram account, and a blog.

I created the blog to promote the book, but something has changed. Lately, I find myself using book events to drive people to the blog.

The book tour has been fantastic; meeting children and their families has been the most incredible gift. I never expected the outpouring of support and kindness that I’ve experienced, and I am grateful for all of it. The adults that I’ve met have been surprisingly candid in their conversations with me, and what I’ve learned is this: I am not alone in my struggles. There are a lot of hurting people out there, and this made me wonder if I could give them something more than an adorable book. Enter the blog.

The blog is intensely personal; it feels like I’ve published my diary on the internet. I have a panic attack nearly every time I post, but I post anyway because I’m praying these posts will help people. Perhaps you are going through something that I have survived, and in reading my story you’ll decide that you can survive it, too. Perhaps you are having a bad day, and reading about one of my bad days will make you feel less alone. Perhaps you need a reminder that you’re not the only one whose life didn’t turn out the way that you planned. Perhaps you will find comfort, inspiration, or hope in these posts.

Dear readers, you have given me so much; this blog is my gift to you.

If you’re divorced or going through a divorce, please read “The Empty House,” “Tsunami,” “And Then There Were Three,” or “Parenting in Absentia.”

If you have a child with medical challenges or a disability, please read “And the Oscar Goes To...”

If you have cancer or you have lost someone to cancer, please read “Beauties and the Beast.”

If you’re a single mother, please read “This is Not a Fairytale,” the “Whole Mamas Club Guest Post,” or “Trial By Fire.”

If you’re a writer, please read “The Faint of Heart Need Not Apply,” or “And So it Begins.”

If your kids are growing up too fast, please read “Despite My Best Efforts, It’s Almost Midnight,” “I’m Not Extinct Yet,” or “Sugar and Spice Aren’t the Only Things that Girls are Made Of.”

If you’re growing up too fast or your life hasn’t turned out the way that you planned, please read “Sixteen Plus Candles.”

If you’ve blown it with your kids, or you feel like a failure, please read “Confessions of a Middle Age Drama Queen” or “Dangerous Omissions.”

If you’re a single parent dating, please read, “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Go Home and Call Your Girlfriends.”

If you’re lonely, please read “Days Like This.”

If you’ve been wounded or you’re a little too good at protecting yourself, please read “Uncharted Territory.”

If you’re a woman who thrives on or who needs the support of other women, please read “My Tribe.”

If you’re a discouraged parent, please read “Worthy Sacrifices,” “Slow and Steady Wins the Race,” “Dear Mama,” or “Love Actually Isn’t Pretty.”

If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, please read “Let There Be Light.”

If you are grappling with fear, or anxiety is preventing you from living your best life, please read “It’s Complicated, and I Like it That Way” or “On Choosing Bravery.”

Whether you’re male or female, single or married, a stay at home parent or a working parent, I hope that you will find something on this site that encourages you, empowers you, or makes you feel slightly less alone. If you know someone who might be inspired or comforted by one of these posts, please share it. The book is $10.99, but the hope is free, and telling someone who is discouraged that tomorrow might be better than today is priceless.

All my best,

Amanda

Stories are the collective wisdom of everyone who has ever lived. Your job as a storyteller is not simply to entertain. Nor is it to be noticed for the way you turn a phrase. You have a very important job–one of the most important. Your job is to let people know that everyone shares their feelings–and that these feelings bind us. Your job is a healing art, and like all healers, you have a responsibility. Let people know they are not alone. You must make people understand that we are all the same. –Brian McDonald

Stories are the collective wisdom of everyone who has ever lived. Your job as a storyteller is not simply to entertain. Nor is it to be noticed for the way you turn a phrase. You have a very important job–one of the most important. Your job is to let people know that everyone shares their feelings–and that these feelings bind us. Your job is a healing art, and like all healers, you have a responsibility. Let people know they are not alone. You must make people understand that we are all the same. –Brian McDonald

Amanda RoweComment