What does it mean to a writer to launch a book?

My ImageWork book is now launched into the world.  What does it mean to a writer to launch a book?

Let me reflect on how I feel about having launched this book. I’m happy it went so well, happy all the excitement is over, happy the book is selling, happy people are signing up for my course. But also wondering where I go from here. I am an author, yes, but I am a writer no more. At least a writer of books no more.

Why? Because I have said that this is my last book. And I meant it. 

What will become of me now?

And here’s the thing. Once a mother, always a mother, though the children grow up and don’t need you, though God forbid something awful happens to the child, you are still a mother.  And if they are alive, they need you to be in the world.

It’s more subtle than it used to be. They don’t need nappies changed, or even your good advice. They just need your presence in the world.

And maybe that’s the secret of who I become after my last book is launched. I become what I already am but haven’t valued enough, that presence, that light, that contributes to the spiritual fabric of the world.

It’s the subtlest of contributions. But a contribution nevertheless.

If I never write another book, indeed if no one ever reads the books I’ve written, that being of light who wrote that book is still here, still shining, and where the light goes is the direction of the new adventure.

The other day I lay in bed having the sort of strange hypnagogic thoughts you have when falling asleep, thoughts that don’t seem to have anything to do with me, and I was trying to understand the mystery of being me. What do all the things I think about and that happen to me mean about this human that I am, who was born, grew up, grew old(er) and will some time die?

I felt I need to know before I die. Otherwise, who is dying?

But it came to me that it is enough to honour the mystery and to be curious about all the jigsaw puzzle bits that make up the mystery of being me, which is also the mystery of being human.  And to recognise that another phase of this being human is about to unfold.

And when I wonder despite myself what this phase will be like, I think of Krishnamurti, philosopher, speaker and writer. When asked what the new world would be like, he said, “If I knew what it would be like, it wouldn’t be new.”

May I dare to not know. May I dare to be endlessly curious.

Dear reader, Have you launched a project?  What does it mean to you?