This post is about four things: Purim, International Women’s Day, my ebook, and, of course, Braveheart

Today is not only Purim, but also International Women’s Day.  Purim celebrates our freedom as a people (not to mention our ability to get drunk as a people.) International Women’s Day celebrates the ability of every woman to be free from the monotony of the expectations of being a woman (cleaning, laundry,cooking, raising kids, washing the many spoons you’ve used to eat Nutella) and to do the stuff she wants to.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this so clearly as I have lately, when I’ve been writing.  Rima suggested a couple of posts ago that I pack all of my thoughts about Scotland into a book, and I joked that I didn’t have the strength.  I started working on a neat, packaged travel essay.  But something strange happened, because past the 6,000 word mark, I just kept going.  And I realized that I was now getting into Kindle Single-length territory.  And I thought, why not?  So I am now working on what’s going to be an experiment and my first foray into digital self-publishing: an ebook. The goal is to not only understand the inner workings of the self-publishing industry, but to see if I can sustain a thought beyond a blog post and OOO look shiny cat pictures. I also want to really share my experiences in Scotland beyond the blog posts that I wrote.  So I am extremely excited and cannot wait to share it with you.

The thing about writing a full-length thought on travel that you are hoping people will pay  for in order to learn something and be entertained by is that it is exhausting and hard in ways that writing a blog never is.  You need to keep a train of thought going for chapters and make sure all of your themes carry on throughout.  You need to write something that doesn’t exhaustively describe what you were doing each day, but at the same time evoke imagery and have the reader travel along with you. You need to not rewrite the blog posts you already wrote on it for free. You need to be aware of tropes and stereotypes about the place you’re describing,and you need to recall what you did two months ago.  As a self-publisher, you also need to research buying mechanisms, the market for your ebook, be your own graphic designer and illustrator, and your own editor.  And you need to do all of this whether you have inspiration or not if you have a deadline for yourself.

So usually I wake up, write for about half an hour, then go to work and think intensively for 8 hours a day.  By the time I’m done with work, I’m done with thinking, but I can’t procrastinate on the book, so I go home, go to the gym with Mr. B, and then continue to write/research publishing for another hour and a half.  Sometimes, I have classes and all my work gets squeezed into the morning, or onto the train.  In between, I have no desire for anything: cleaning, cooking, laundry, blogging,and even Nutella spoons.

Where am I going with this?

Yesterday, I expressed my regrets to Mr. B, that I felt like I was neglecting my share of the chores, that I felt like I was neglecting him (my mind is often somewhere my text at any given time, thinking about what to add and how to move it forward,) and that I felt bad in general.  And he said, “Don’t feel bad.  When you look back a year from now, not to mention 30 year or your deathbed, what are you going to wish you did, run the washer, or publish something, like you’ve been wanting to do your entire life? Sometimes, you need to follow your dream. That’s what makes us human. ” Then he said dream again in a Scottish accent.

And that is the most precious gift you can give to a woman for March 8th. The freedom from society’s expectations.