"This is not a career path. This is a bumble."
That's what I told Christy Largent when she interviewed me for her podcast last fall.
Twelve years ago, I was slap-dab in the middle of a nervous breakdown, and I've never, ever seen that on anybody's recommended path to success.
Here's what it would look like, The Kay Bruner Path to Career Awesomeness:
- Have a bunch of stress over an extended period of time.
- Encourage your husband to get into a serious porn habit.
- Mix that with some stinkin' thinkin' (it helps if you believe the world will come to an end if you stop X, Y, & Z).
- Develop major depression and anxiety with a little side order of psychosis.
- Go get your Masters in Counseling so you can help other people recover.
- Get completely frustrated with your counseling internship and start a blog, SO THERE.
- One day decide you're going public on the blog with the porn-and-breakdown story.
- Write a whole book about the porn-and-breakdown story.
- Self publish, because you believe that approximately 100 people might buy it.
This, clearly, is nothing but a bumble.
Here's what's happened in my world since As Soon As I Fell came out.
1,400 copies sold so far!
What?! I thought that if we ever sold 1,000 that would be a miracle! But they keep selling at a steady little trickle every day, even though our PR effort at this point is precisely zero. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and I am SO grateful to all those who've shared the book with others.
Almost every day, I get a note from someone I don't know, thanking me for the book, and that's only happening because YOU GUYS have cared enough to pass the book along. Thank you!
There are 73 reviews at Amazon. Most of them are from people who have loved the book, and I'm so grateful for all the kind words and the many, many stars. So encouraging!
I have to say, though, that my favorite review is a 2-star review from a person who said:
"I was drawn to this book by its enthusiastic reviews, but I almost immediately despaired of enduring it to the end."
I defy anyone to write a more perfect description of missionary life: drawn to it by enthusiastic reviews, but almost immediately despaired of enduring!
We need tshirts! Fridge magnets! Bumper stickers! Cocktail napkins! So awesome!
Around the time As Soon As I Fell released, some other writing opportunities came along.
Covenant Eyes asked me to respond to the women who write in to their blog, asking for support and guidance through porn issues in their marriages. So every morning now, the CE blog comment log is my first stop. I also write a piece for them about every month or so.
I was invited to write a monthly column called "Ask A Counselor" at A Life Overseas. My third installment in that series comes out next week.
Velvet Ashes is discussing As Soon As I Fell in their online book club right now, and I'm going to be publishing a piece with them soon about my spectacularly unsuccessful attempts at language learning overseas. I live to be everybody's cautionary tale.
And then some of my pieces from the archives here are appearing regularly at For Every Mom.
(If you're interested in updates on all these things, follow my Facebook group--Kay Bruner's blog friends.)
Last year, as you know, was a humdinger. I felt like I was just barely staying afloat most of the time. I was not out beating the bushes for new things to do. These things just bumbled along, and by the time they did, I was feeling okay with doing some work in my pajamas.
(God knows me. He loves me. It's fine with him if I work in my pajamas. That's what I'm getting out of the bumble so far.)
So what about 2015?
In this space, I am planning to do something I've wanted to do for ages: a devotional series for Lent. (Liturgical happy dance, everybody!)
I'll be using the traditional Seven Last Sayings as the structure, one saying per week, so I'll publish the first piece February 16, and that series will run up til Easter (April 5).
My idea is that I'll write it here on the blog, and then turn it into a book later on, like we did with the Advent devotional. We'll see how that goes.
Then guess what's next? Potentially the most bumbly thing I have ever done.
I've accepted an invitation to speak at a women's retreat in Nicaragua, April 24-26.
The whole thing happened on Facebook. One of my Facebook friends quoted something from As Soon As I Fell, and a friend of hers said, "Our book club in Nicaragua is discussing that book!"
(Wait. I'm a book club selection in Nicaragua?? What's happening right now?)
So I jumped in on the comments and said, "Hey there, the author would Skype with you if want?" The next night, I Skyped with these ladies in Managua for an hour and at the end of it, they asked if I'd come and help with their retreat. It seemed like a crazy thing, so I said yes.
It's a group of about 80 women, an English-speaking inter-faith community, who work in various non-profits, mission organizations, and businesses throughout Nicaragua.
Y'all know that the last time I went to a women's retreat with people I don't know, it was a little rough. And this time I can't get in my car and come home. I am, however, taking two of my besties with me. Katrina and Annie know everything there is to know about me, plus Annie is a nurse and not afraid to tell me to see my therapist immediately, so I feel pretty safe with this crew. Plus, we are going to the beach. The beach covers a multitude of issues.
It's pretty crazy that I'm going overseas to talk to missionary women this year. I can't quite get my head around it. I'm just figuring it's got to be a God thing, and I'm going with it.
I'm only a little anxious, and mostly excited, to be doing something that 12 years ago, in the midst of a nervous breakdown, I never, ever in a million years would have imagined.
So that's the state of the bumble! Thanks for being along for the ride!