I published my first book!
Insomnia debuted as a #1 New Release on Amazon. Wild!
Back in April, I started posting on Medium as a way to process this funk I was in. It was more than a funk, really, but I’m not sure how to put it into words. “Dark place” might be more appropriate. Writing on Medium helped me get through that month, but it wasn’t enough to pull me out of my dark place. In fact, it only got worse come May.
I was going on 46 days with little to no sleep and was struggling with extreme burnout, anxiety, and depression. I’m no stranger to any of these, but feeling them so intensely all at one time was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.
One night, I was so desperate for sleep that I wrote a haiku begging my mind for rest. While it didn’t bring rest, it did bring inspiration. One poem became two, which soon became 50, written in the predawn hours of May 12, 2021. Within the book, Insomnia: A Middle-of-the-Night Haibun Collection, I share these poems in the order I wrote them, giving a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings that eventually led to one of my darkest moments.
I’m proud of this book for so many reasons, the first of which is that it’s the first project I truly did for myself. I chose to self-publish so I could have the freedom to bring my story to life in the way that felt most authentic to me. I also designed the interior layout and cover myself, and it turned out even better than I expected. It’s also my foray into poetry, which is so far out of my comfort zone, I can’t even explain it.
I got to hold the paperback version in my hands for the first time this weekend and it was absolutely surreal. It’s hard to believe the deep, dark place I was in just a few months ago turned into this… something real that I can hold in my hands. It’s surreal to see a book with my name available on Amazon (in 13 countries, no less!), Barnes & Noble, and most importantly, my own bookshelf.
To celebrate the book’s launch, I’ve decided to donate 100% of royalties (the money I make after Amazon and other distributors take their cut) through the end of July to NAMI Washington County, my local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization and is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They offer dozens of resources, events, support groups, and hotlines for people of all ages who struggle with anxiety, ADHD, ADD, depression, bipolar, and other mental illnesses. I’d love to be able to donate $500 to NAMI Washington County, which equates to selling about 120 copies.
With that, I’d like to ask for your support: if you’re able, would you consider buying a copy of the book before July 31? In full transparency, I make significantly more from sales on Amazon, so I encourage you to buy from there if possible (plus, you’ll get Prime shipping 😉). If you choose to buy a book, please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon, which will help it look more credible to other readers.
I am beyond grateful for your support — not only for me but for the many others who are silently struggling, too. It would honestly mean the world to me if you ordered a book. I’m confident that even a small donation to NAMI will make a big difference for those in my local community, and I can’t wait to write a check on our behalf. Thank you in advance for your support.