Last Thursday night, I held my first public book signing at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY. I honestly didn’t have a chance to get nervous because I had a hellish work day that prevented me from thinking ahead and over-analyzing the event. I really didn’t prepare much to say which is very unlike me, but it’s astonishing how easy it is to speak about something you’ve created from start to finish. More than anything, I was nervous that no one would show up considering most all of my friends and family came to my private launch party and already have copies of the book. People showed up and they even laughed at some of the things I said! For a girl who has been notoriously unfunny her whole life, that meant a lot. As for public speaking, I don’t get particularly nervous in front of crowds – as long as I am prepared. Having not written out my presentation ahead of time and not bringing as much as a note card with talking points, I definitely felt the pressure when I started speaking. For the most part, I think I managed. I spoke about my background as a feminist and blog author and how I took my ideas from blog posts to book-length chapters. I also addressed the value and process of self-publishing – how it was so important to me that collegiate feminists executed all parts of production to make this book possible for upcoming collegiate feminists. I closed with a discussion on the book’s organization and how I strived to fill a void in college literature that often fails to fully acknowledge the relationship between academic, professional, and social spheres.
The Q&A section of the evening was my absolute favorite part of the signing. Hearing friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers show a genuine interest in my book and my writing was incredibly validating for me, and I loved hearing what comments and questions they had about my work. It’s kind of surreal to host an event in a space which has felt so familiar to me throughout my childhood. Instead of sitting in the chairs and listening to visiting authors speak, I was the one at the front of the crowd, mic in hand. Public events certainly give me the drive to continue writing and also remind me that I am not doing so without purpose.
At the end of the night, however, I returned home to my house to see that my dog had chewed up several of my favorite pairs of underwear. Against my inclination to scold him and crawl into bed, I stayed up with him the better part of the night as he rid himself of the lacy remnants. Success in one moment certainly does not guarantee glamour at all times. I’m so grateful to have publicly shared my book and to continue to do so within my digital spaces each and every day. My following has grown significantly over the past three years of serious blogging/writing, and I am so appreciative of the loyal individuals who keep up with my antics. Here’s to more books, more puppy cuddles, and the utmost sense of transparency in the process. XO.