Sunday, September 2, 2012

Getting What You Want Can Be Scary

T-Shirt I'm wearing today. All that's left (besides all the books I bought with my employee discount) from my days as a book seller at the long closed down Stone Lion Bookstore in Ft. Collins Colorado.
When your dreams start coming true, you might get a little bit scared. This thought occurred to me this morning while lying in bed and thinking about all the THINGS that needed doing and the logistics of HOW and WHERE the writing part of the day would happen. Truth: I felt overwhelmed. Yes, there were many items on the To Dos list, but there are always many items on that list...I'm used to them. The overwhelmed feeling was stemming from someplace else, someplace I hadn't expected. The reason I was feeling a bit over the edge was because:

1. My book is actually going to be published and real people will one day very soon be reading that book. These people might love it, hate it, or feel completely indifferent about it, but that book that I clawed up and out of my brain is going to be the fodder for their opinion about it. And I'll be honest, I fear the one star review.

 2. I now have a contractual obligation to finish the next book in the series. Where as before, I just wrote and wrote and no one really cared if and or when I finished or how many words I'd written or if the thing was actually readable...I now have people expecting and waiting on not just a stream of words but words compiled in such a way that they make sense, are entertaining, and move the original story forward (but, you know, no pressure or anything.)

3. I also have my lovely agent waiting on me to finish another completely-unrelated-to-this-series book. She likes what she's seen so far and is encouraging me to finish it. And I want to finish it. Yes, I want to do this and everything else.

 I never thought that when all the things I had been wanting to happen actually did start happening I would feel anything besides pure joy. Now, don't get me wrong, compared to the days of desperately waiting on agent responses, and then feedback from editors I was on submission to, there is some measure of joy with what I have accomplished. And I realize that these are good stresses to have. These are the stresses of progress, the signs that I am closer to my goals for my writing. But back when I was just trying to learn how to even finish a novel, I never gave much thought to what the day to day life would look like once I had the agent and the book deal.

To be honest, it looks very much the same. I still have to stop and sit down for the words everyday. I still need to juggle life and the words. And I still hope someone will like what I have to share only now I'm mostly hoping that someone is the reader instead of just agents and editors.

As you move closer to what you want to be doing with you're goals, is it what you expected? Did you even know what to expect?


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Donna! I almost missed your tweets the other day because I didn't recognize you with your new hairdo. It looks great!

  2. I wish I could just finish my book. I've made progress because I now write (when I can find the time) instead of just talking about writing. So I guess that's something.

    1. Stephanie, I so remember being right where you are. Keep at it, one page at a time and before you know it you'll have a whole ms in front of you.

  3. I'm feeling overwhelmed too. I can't figure out the plot for book two, and just today I received my editor's notes for book one. I'm too terrified to open the email! I guess I just need to get over it. I'm sending positive thoughts your way that everything will go smoothly!

    1. Lindsey, thanks for the love. I'm sending calming (and creative) thoughts back your way.

  4. Wow! Good to know I'm not the only one. :) My first book came out in November and while I'm not on contract for another, I suddenly feel pressure in a way I didn't before. It's like, "You finally did the first step...now what are you going to do?" It now matters if I make time to write or not, if I get off my butt and do any kind of promotional activity...ack!