Okay, so I've worked really hard for the last seven years learning the craft of writing. I've gone through the ups and downs of submitting my work, taking classes, going to workshops and conferences, getting form rejections, getting personalized rejections, getting really nice comments that gave me hope and the inspiration to continue, getting so close I could taste it offers, then finally getting an offer from an agent, and then finally -finally - getting a publishing contract. So, you'd think I'd be on a constant cloud nine of "Yes!! Now I can't sit back and enjoy the fruits of my hard labour! Bring on the wine and potato chips!"
Uh, not so much.
Instead of blithely skipping through the next few months in happy anticipation of seeing my book published what am I doing? I'm stressing about the fact that my book is going to be out there in less than a year. That people may (gasp!) actually, you know, READ it??? That my friends and family will see what I've been working on for years and think THIS is what she's spent so much time on? Or worse, have this polite little smile on their faces as they say, "Oh, it was very nice." Or even worse - what if they say nothing about it at all? Or, catastrophe of all catastrophes, what if my teenage daughters - voracious readers and not ones to mince words, and whose good opinion I seek -hate it? Ugh. I get nauseous at the thought.
But it seems I'm not alone in these insiduous, worrisome thoughts. There was a discussion about it on Verla Kay's blueboards and the thought of publication - of 'being out there' - is pretty scary for a lot of writers. It's not that I'm not excited and proud of my book. I very much am. But the worry that someone will find something wrong with it can really start to eat away at the pleasure and thrill of getting published. I hope that this is just another process in the publishing journey I have to go through - much like learning about something new in the writing craft. I'm discovering that publishing is a whole different beast than writing. They are two separate yet parallel roads I'm travelling on. I've been on the writing road for quite a while now so I'm very familiar with all the pot holes there. The publishing road?? I'm driving very slowly with the hazard lights on… All I can say is thank god for the calm support of my editor and agents. I'd be seriously lost without them.
So, even if I'm not enjoying the wine and chips at the moment I hope by the time Illegally Blonde is published I will have passed through this particular road safely so I can enjoy a drink once I reach the finish line. By then, I have a feeling I'll definitely need one.