I completed writing my second book in September — a mammoth project three years in the making. For weeks and months and, yes, years, I legitimately wondered if the thing would ever get finished.
I faced a lot of demons during the writing of this book:
Despair that my epic journey was over, a reality never to be relived again. One of those highlight reel moments of my life forever turned off.
Doubt that I’d chosen the “wrong” end city, a decision for home never to be redone. A pivotal missed opportunity.
Backsliding into solitude after living on the road in such intentional — albeit always revolving — community.
Impossibility that my second book wouldn’t — couldn’t ever — compare to the first one. Receiving 76+ four- and five-star Amazon reviews along with dozens more supportive emails can mess with a man. Not to mention meeting a couple dozen of your readers on the road.
Four years ago, Struggle Central only took seven months to write, including a whole month off during the holidays. Yes, it was a much shorter book than my follow-up. Proportionally, though, Running To should have only taken a year to 18 months to complete.
Insecurity slowed me down.
My first-ever full-time jobs slowed me down.
Sheer exhaustion of mental, emotional, and spiritual stripes slowed me down.
But here, now, some way, somehow, three years later, the deed is done.
The book, written; the spine and cover forever binding my highlight reel. My journey can never be relived, but now it can never turn off.
After completing my second book, I realize more than ever that writing a book is much like living a life.
You connect the dots like pages and paragraphs. One by agonizing one.
Some days work better than others.
Some days inspire you.
Some days silence you.
Writing a book often doesn’t feel worth it. You wonder if this whole thing makes sense or if it’s even going anywhere. If anyone will notice or care or continue connecting their dots as is, unaffected by yours.
And then you pen the last word. The final period. The closing dot.
You shut your laptop and sip a celebratory coffee.
You breathe your deepest breath yet and feel like you could float to the moon and Pluto.
You did it.
You finished it.
You did what 1% of what only 1% of all people do: follow up a first book with a second book.
It hurt some more.
I ran away from Running To numerous times these last three years.
And then back I ran to it. I even quit my job to finish it this summer.
And you know what?
I wouldn’t trade a bead of agony for the book I can now hold in my hands.
Running To: In Search of Home on the Open Road — available in ebook. And now paperback.
Three years later, I hope it was worth the wait.
To celebrate, I created a Spotify playlist of songs enjoyed and suffered on the road for 9 months. May you enjoy and suffer with me as we all learn to connect our dots, one to another.