It’s been a week since I learned I’m actually going to publish a novel. (The delirium can be re-experienced here.) Yes, it’s now a week later, and though my editor asked for my information including social security number and the name I want the copyright to be under for the contract I am still floating around in a fuzzy cloud of unreality. I don’t know if I believe it yet. Tentatively my deadline for the manuscript will be in November, but I am waiting on the feedback on my outline so I haven’t continued writing yet.
It’s been a week.
This week I’ve felt inspired. I’ve felt like things are possible. I’ve felt good.
This week I’ve also felt nervous. I’ve felt scared. I’ve been very, very grateful to have this chance.
This week I flirted—again—with the idea of becoming a full-time freelance writer and tried to picture my life without my day job. It’s very easy to picture… until I get scared about finances and picture us living on the street in a cardboard box. Where would I plug in my laptop then? So I erase the picture and continue living this life. I’m not ready to write full-time—I’d have to line up a bunch more projects first. Besides, at work on Friday, I read a truly moving YA manuscript and remembered what I like about my job. A job where you get to read things like this is okay.
This week I got ahead of myself, and considered sending 100 pages of my YA novel out to agents. A writer I know said she thinks they’d be willing to look, since I have one deal and an option on the next tween book. But I’m not sure…
So, this week, I decided to wait till I finished it.
This week I reminded myself to calm down.
This week another writer and blogger, who I finally met in real life!, Jade Park generously sent me a cake for congratulations! Blueberry! (I don’t think she even realized how obsessed I am with blueberries—I LOVE THEM and gorge on them in blueberry season like nobody’s business.) Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jade Park. I can’t wait to be congratulating her on her good news, which I know with certainty is in her future. As I said, cake for all!
This week I have had many congratulations, so touching. This week, a message from a friend I have known since junior high made me get all teary. I don’t know how she’s believed in me for so long, or why. We used to share poems and read them aloud in graveyards. That’s funny to think about now.
This week I have also had strange reactions, such as a one-line message on Facebook from a former high school friend in response to my status update about enjoying a “book deal cake.” Her message:
re: <no subject>
Is it your book deal?
I wrote back excitedly with my news. And she didn’t respond.
This week someone asked me to read with her at KGB, but I said I was so, so honored that she asked, but I’m not ready. For some reason I was filled with anxiety over the idea of reading my fiction out loud in front of other people, though I’ve done it before and it went over okay.
This week I told myself I need to be more courageous.
This week I have also been racing to finish ghostwriting this other novel. If I work hard—if I stop goofing off and focus—I can finish the first draft this weekend. Maybe.
This week I learned that the editor was not happy I dropped out of writing the next one.
But this week I knew I had to do that. I had to. I have to work hard for what I want and not get so distracted.
I have been digging myself a hole for too long. Now, I’ve poked my head out. And, hello, the air up here isn’t as bad as I remembered. So I’ll climb out, maybe stick around for a bit, maybe stay.