Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton has had an up and down week since her memoir "Hard Choices" hit bookshelves Tuesday. She's been personally called out, her words have been dissected and she has been criticized for what is - and is not - in the book.
But on Friday, sitting across from a close friend and longtime aide, Clinton told an audience of 1,500 people in Washington, that the process "feels a little bit liberating, to be honest."
"It just seemed a whole lot easier to just put it out there and hope people get used to it," Clinton said after Lissa Muscatine, her former speechwriter and communications director, asked her about the first week of the book tour. "Whether you agree with it or not you know exactly where I come from, what I think, what I feel."
Clinton's book has received mixed reviews. While some have been positive, calling it a compelling look into diplomacy and statecraft, many have called it news-less and boring.
She called the process of writing the book "a terrific" one, but noted that "some days were off-the-charts wonderful and some days were not-even-on-the-charts terrible."
Since the book hits stores on Tuesday, Clinton - who is widely considered the frontrunner for the Democrat's 2016 presidential nomination - has appeared at four events in New York, two in Chicago, one in Philadelphia and one in Washington. In the coming week she will visit northern Virginia, Canada, Seattle, Los Angeles and Texas.
The atmosphere of the tour has been part campaign, part sales job. Clinton and her aides have been followed by a pro-Clinton bus (chock full of Clinton devotees), a Republican National Committee staffer in an orange squirrel suit, and a cacophony of talking heads, pundits and opinionators.
Clinton herself has used the events to highlight parts of her book and talk about certain chapters in the 600-plus-page tome (she said Friday that the first manuscript ran at three times that length). Outside each event, organizers come prepared to sell thousands of copies, most of which are signed with a simple "Hillary."
And in her comments about the book tour on Friday, Clinton argued that the entire process has been a freeing one, allowing her to be "totally done with, you know, being really careful about what to say because somebody might think this instead of that it just gets too exhausting and frustrating."
While true at times - Clinton has been unvarnished to some audiences - she has also carefully walked back inopportune statements she has made in interviews around the book.
After Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer that she and her husband were "dead broke" and in debt when the left the White House in 2001 earlier this week - a comment that was widely panned considering their earning potential, book advances and government salary - the former first lady walked back the refrain at a Wednesday event.
"That may have not been the most artful way of saying that you know Bill and I have gone through a lot of different phases in your lives," Clinton told Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a public interview. "That was then, this is now." She later added that her family has "been blessed," but noted that they have also "gone through ups and downs like a lot of people."
After she was criticized for her response to a question about her record at the State Department, Clinton also gave a more succinct answer on Wednesday.
"Well the biggest accomplishment in the four years as secretary of state was helping to restore American leadership, and we did that in a number of ways," Clinton said, before enumerating a long list of achievements and diplomatic moves she made during her four-year tenure. The former secretary of state did something similar on Friday.
At the same time that she recalibrated statements, Clinton also did appear more loose and free than in past months. She let out loud laughs during light moments with friends and told stories from her childhood.
Describing her process of whether to take French at Wellesley College, Clinton said one French teacher discouraged her because a lack of skill.
"Mademoiselle, your talent lie elsewhere," said Clinton – adapting a French accent to mimic the professor.
Clinton, who rarely shook hands with people after speeches during campaigns and while in office, even worked the front of the stage on Friday.
As a crush of students and other ticket-holders moved to the front of the auditorium to shake Clinton's hand or get a better picture, the former first lady took in the adoration by posing in selfies, laughing at remarks and even, at one point, holding a baby with a big smile.