I have a book coming out in one week and one day. It’s my first book. It’s that book that I wrote and then put in a drawer and thought naaaaaah, and then pulled out for a crit group meeting, and then let somebody talk me into contesting it, and then, holy monkeynuts, somebody asked to read more of it.
That book. Will be released into the world. Next week.
I am currently tracking real close to what we in an earlier decade would have called OMGWTFBBQ mode. Seriously, in ONE WEEK my world will change indelibly. I will become a professional writer, a published authoress, a superheroine of gigantic…okay, maybe not that.
But! Different. Everything will be different, and at this point I have zero control over any of it. The control freak inside me has not died a little. She has died eleventy billion times, just like Buffy. And every time somebody asks, “So, book coming out. You excited?” she dies all over again.
And at three in the morning when sleep is impossible and all I can think of are likely pseudonyms for restarting a writing career in the future after everyone has forgotten this disaster? Or the next morning when I jolt awake from the best dream ever, imagining myself thronged at a book store, having to stage dive into the mosh of semi-naked fanboys hoisting my book above their perfectly coiffed manbuns?
God, what does one do? To, you know, take the edge off? Some friends’ kind suggestions:
- Read books. Lots of books. All the books. Refill the well. < -- This works. This helps. The good books give me a target to aim for. The less awesome ones boost my confidence that I can do this.
- Play games. < -- Also works, especially at three in the morning. I ran Luigi off a bridge in Mario Kart, became Queen of Ferelden in Dragon Age Origins, and did a lot of just vile things in Fallout. Went back to bed and dreamed sweet because none of that was real, and at the same time, all of it was.
- Go off sugar for Lent. < -- Although you’d think the lack of sugar would be calming, this tactic is working not so well. I dream of donuts. Coffee and I are spatting lovers, and he's bitter about it. We might need a break.
- Exercise. < -- Good and bad results. The good: I’m so exhausted at night I fall asleep right away. The bad: ow. Perpetual ow.
- Write the next damn book. < -- Perfect, only, best solution.
Because really? That’s the only thing I have control over. I can put my soul on paper and scrawl The End in blue ink all over it. I can do that. All us writers can do that one thing, the best thing. And we can breathe.
The rest is rust and stardust.*
*Not my words. Thanks, Nabokov.
Oh, and this is the book what done me in:
Coming at ya April 4, 2017.
Vivien Jackson writes stories with robots, grenades, pixies, and always, always down-home salacious kissery. She's an unrepentant fangirl of many fandoms and would love to discuss your favorite ships here or here or here.