My book is officially available. I've got some great friends who all went out and bought it, just to support me. They ran Amazon out of stock in less than 12 hours of me putting the link on Facebook. I've worked so damn hard for this moment, to put something into publication, to be a real 'writer', I should be excited. I should be proud. I should be jumping for joy, drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle, ordering a good steak and reveling in my accomplishment.
Instead, I'm a bit of a nervous wreck.
And that is how I've been for the last few months since I signed the contract with the publisher. (Except for argument over the cover, but that's another blog post.)
So here I am. After years of writing, editing, working with other writers, going to writers groups, re-writing, editing, working with different writers groups, re-editing, re-writing, reading about writing, re-writing, reading more about writing, re-writing, re-editing, querying agents, querying more agents, querying publishers, re-writing, querying more agents, querying Indie publishers, investigating self-publishing, re-writing, I have finally done it. I am officially a published author. And that scares the crap out of me.
Then my good friend John, who always seems to offer good advice when I need it the most, pointed out that I better get moving. He sent me this text, "Congrats on your book, btw your blog is riveting."
I could write ten thousand words about John, his friendship and how important it is to me, but that's for another day. It's impressive that he can support me on one hand, and prod me on the other. We texted back and forth a bit and he pointed out that writers are expected to blog, and here my blog sits barely touched since its inception. So, thank you, John.
Which brings me back to why I'm a bit of a nervous wreck.
I'm not scared of failing. I'm really not. If the book sells fifteen copies and ten of those people enjoy it, I've won. That is how I truly feel. If I can provide a brief escape with my story, even to just one person, I'll be happy.
I'm not scared of succeeding. If the book starts selling and people enjoy it, that would be cool, but it won't change my life. Aside from bringing a smile to my face that people enjoyed it, I don't see how any success would really change me or my life.
So what is it? I've thought a good bit about this over the last few months. I realized it when a co-worker in my real job, she's a cutie but dated a friend of mine, asked me what the book was about. I stumbled and stalled, and pretty much dodged the question because for some reason I got nervous. And I've never really been nervous about my writing.
I got nervous because I knew she would be able to read it since it was being published.
I got nervous that something I spent so much time with, something I spent so many minutes, hours, and days thinking about, something that I reached into the depths of my mind that I normally keep to myself, would be available to her and anyone else.
It scares the living crap out of me that something I've been so "intimate" with would be available for anyone to see. That's the best way I can describe my nervousness. Writing a book is a long process, and involves so much. The story starts in my mind, then I pretty much spit it out onto some paper. Then I read it, self-edit some, re-read, and then I re-write it. And I do that before I ask for someone else to edit it. I get so personally invested in the characters, the plots, the twists, the words, I guess it makes me nervous that I know them so well, and I'm releasing them out into the world to be dissected, reviewed, even disliked.
I love telling a story. I really love sitting at this computer with some music on letting my mind go nuts as I make up a story. I don't get much happier with who I am than when I'm writing something new. I really don't. I look forward to my one or two nights of sitting here in front of my computer creating more than just about anything else. I couldn't imagine not writing.
But, apparently I'm not so good at putting my story out once I've made it up, polished it, and put it out there.
Well it's out there now. And I can't take it back. So I guess I better grab my nerves, shove them aside and try and sell some books!
A writer is expected to blog, according to my good friend John, so here you go.
I've sold a few books today. That's a good thing. For anyone whoever reads the book, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Thanks, John. You are a good friend.