What It Really All Meant, In the End

10629859_719418104797528_113347380841515371_nI’ve started and deleted this post so many times I’ve lost count. A confession: for someone who’s built their life around words, I often find life gives us moments far more meaningful.

Maybe that’s what all the writer angst finally boils down to: we can’t ever express exactly what we hope to. But we can’t not try.

So rather than saying good-bye, I’ll try to explain why being a Deb has meant so much to me. (Maybe in list form. Or in random fragments, or bullet points. We’ll see.)

Because years ago becoming a Deb was just a crazy aspiration. When you dream of getting a novel published you’re really dreaming of all the things that go with it: holding the finished product in your hands, sharing your story with people you’ve never even met, seeing your book in stores. Add “being a Deb” to my list. I’d followed the blog for years and only wished I’d one day be in the position to at least apply.

Because the first book happens once and I didn’t have to do it alone. (Inside jokes. Good news emails. Bad news emails. Long live the long threads of Deb Ball messages.) Years from now, when I look back at the moment in my life when the book finally happened, Lisa, Lori, Heather, and Susan will always be part of the memory.

Because you. Everything a writer does is a letter to you.

Because I probably would’ve gotten so caught up in everything that happened this past year that I’d forget to write about it. Exhibit A: my personal blog? Crickets. But here on the Deb Ball we have each week’s thoughts and milestones. We have a record.

Because look at us, all (kind of) grown up. Moving on to new things as the 2015 Debs wait in the wings. I wish for them what I wish for the five of us and what I wish for all of you in any moment:

May it always feel this new. May it always be this hard to say bye.



Author: Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel CHASING THE SUN (Lake Union/New Harvest, June 2014), about a frail marriage tested to the extreme by the wife's kidnapping in Lima, Peru. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Visit her online at nataliasylvester.com

25 Replies to “What It Really All Meant, In the End”

  1. *Sniff* I love what you said about this being a record. I think you’re right. It’s so much more meaningful having shared our debut experience with each other. I totally let my blog go as well and I certainly wouldn’t have tunneled into my feelings the way I have done here. *cheers* to a few of my favorite ladies!

    1. I’m trying to think of ways to keep up with my personal blog as well as I kept up with this one. There’s no one to keep me accountable over there!

        1. Haha, thanks, Anthony!

          I’m really excited to revive my blog…and I promise it won’t all be promotion, promotion, promotion 😉

    1. Yup, so much goes on behind the scenes! Although I’m sure that part will continue, just in a differently structured way.

  2. So wonderfully put, Natalia — as always! You always get to the heart of things. I keep thinking of this as an era — and when I look back on this time, the debs will be a huge part of the feel of this era: camarederie, nerves, joy, and fun.

    1. Absolutely an era, Lisa. I’ll miss it but I know we’re all also excited to see what next “era” awaits…and of course the camaraderie, nerves, joy and fun will always be a part of it.

  3. Congratulations to all the outgoing debs. It’s been great (and by great I mean fun, interesting, educational, inspiring…) to follow along. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your debut year. All of you ladies are awesome.

    Natalia and Susan, thank you for all of the advice via email. Best of luck as you move forward!

    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! I’m so glad we connected via The Deb Ball this year. I’m so excited to see how things unfold for you on your own writing journey!

    1. Us debut-ers have to stick together, right? 🙂 Thanks for joining us this year, Angela. It’s been wonderful to see how you and Gaby, Lost and Found have launched into the lives of so many kids!

  4. What a wonderful testament to your year at the Ball. I might not have commented as often as I’ve read (in fact, not by a long shot) but it’s been really neat to see how beautifully the five of you have carried on the tradition this year.

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. Your support and camaraderie have always been a constant, and I’ve felt it all along, comment or no comment. I love that we’re all connected…not just the 5 of us, but all us Debs from 2007 to now!

  5. “Because I probably would’ve gotten so caught up in everything that happened this past year that I’d forget to write about it.”

    Good point. I’ve seen that before, quite often. A blog is really interesting, all about writing and editing and publishing — but then the book comes out and it’s all promotion promotion promotion. Which gets tedious fast. I mean, I understand the need to sell books, but the most I’m going to buy is one copy. It’s been fun watching this whole process, that’s for sure.

    1. You’ll all be wonderful, Shelly! I can’t wait to see what you all do, and what a great way to kick it off with your launch!

  6. I cannot believe it’s been a year! I’m so glad you documented the whirlwind here. What an exciting year, and can’t wait to see what you have coming up next!

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