Monday, March 1, 2010

On the Terrifying Cusp of Change

It's March 1st. I can't quite believe it. Spring is around the corner. I can feel the changes coming in the air (cue Phil Collins music here). ILLEGALLY BLONDE releases in T-minus 30 days. On March 25th I'll be making my first appearance on a writer's panel at a local university to discuss how immigration affected my writing. I'm starting to plan my book launch (in April) but I'm also dealing with things like ordering bookmarks, putting together information packages about my book and me, the author. Weirdness times ten. Yes, it will be a month of huge firsts and highly stressful yet exciting changes in my life. I can't quite believe these things are happening. Even my horoscope is hinting at these events. Check this out:

The month ends with big news about your career. The full moon on March 29 will illuminate your standing in your industry, your company, or concerning a job you have interviewed for. You will get answers now, and if you get a new job (very possible), the position you will move into is likely to be one that comes with quite a bit of responsibility. It will bring you lucrative ways to make money, too, and it seems to include a performance-based commission or bonus. Your new job won't be an easy one - you will have to adjust and learn as you go - but this new job will come with power and authority. That's the kind of job that is right up your ally, so snap it up.

Yes. Adjust and learn as you go. That's really the crux of this whole writing journey, isn't it?

There should be a bloody manual that all new writers get before they put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard for the first time that talks about the terrifying emotional journey you take as a writer. Sure, there is a wealth of knowledge, information, support and advice in the writing community. You can research how to write query letters, how to structure novels, how to market, how to network etc. etc. etc. but until you go through it, until you experience the jaw-dropping amount of information you have to accumulate, until you experience the joy and agony of the query and manuscript submission process, until you experience the difficulty in putting yourself out there when you may be introverted or overwhelmed by the daunting impossibility of having your book be noticed in the sea of books being released, until you realize it's not just the writing of the story anymore, you could literally throw that pen or keyboard away and say "Forget it. It's too much. It's just too much."

And yet.

Adjust and learn as you go.

Every new thing learned requires some kind of adjustment. And in order to grow we need to learn. So, yes, this is a terrifying time for me - and probably for a lot of writers proceeding on the next step of the publishing journey, whatever that may be. Submitting to an agent can be terrifying. But once you do it a few times it's not so bad. Revising a manuscript can seem impossibly daunting. And it is. But once you do it you are that much more likely to be better at it the next time. Never marketed yourself before? Never blogged, never tweeted, never walked up to strangers at conferences and introduced yourself, never sat on a writers panel? Do it once and it is scary, do it a few times and it does get easier. At least I hope so! :)

Adjust and learn as you go. Yes. I think that's going to be my mantra for the next month. Maybe the next few years.


  1. There's so much about writing I'm GLAD I didn't know when first starting. Adjust and learn as you go has been a slow but gentle way for me to learn the ropes.

    I'm glad I was clueless about the amount of time needed to attract an agent's attention. Might not have started if I knew all it would take, but I'm so glad I did.

  2. A little frightening. Very exciting. Stressful. Thrilling. All of the above. I might be bipolar or I might just be a writer.

    I can't wait to read your book.

  3. Extremely exciting! The best teacher is experience! I'm sure you'll have lots of wisdom to share when this is all over! Yay! Less than 30 days to book release!

  4. Hi Caroline! Yes, you are absolutely right. Had I known what I know now I might have convinced myself this journey was too hard. But I am glad I did take it. Ignorance is indeed bliss sometimes!

    Hi Lisa! LOL on the bipolar/writer. I hear you. And thanks - hope you enjoy IB!

    Hey, Laura! I don't know if I'll have any wonderful wisdom but I'll probably have a few stories to tell! The next 30 days will be very hard to get through I think.

  5. Nelsa, I can't wait to read your book -- and I look forward to reading about how you adjust to being a published author!