Thursday, January 28, 2016

One More Step

There are a lot of tense and difficult moments/milestones along any would-be author’s journey: getting through that first book, the querying process, being on submission, waiting for an offer from an editor who’s shown some interest (but still has to take the book to the acquisitions board), completing that second contracted book. At each point along the way, I've kept telling myself: okay, this is the moment you can finally relax and breathe.  Only to find that the every next step feels just as perilous as the one before it.

Right now, I’m about five months out from THE FAR EMPTY's release, and I’m as tense and nervous as I’ve ever been. Before long, reviews will start to trickle in, and we’ll start to get some indication of whether this project we all worked on (and I say we, because that includes my agent and the editors and everyone else at Putnam who’ve believed in the book) is any damn good. This idea, this thing that has existed for so long with so much potential, will finally see that potential realized…or not.

What started as this:





Became this:

 


And now this:

I got my ARCs in yesterday!


 

It’s only now that I’ve really started to think (translation: worry), about failing at this whole endeavor. While reviews and sales will never diminish the personal satisfaction I’ve enjoyed at completing the book, they will be very real and tangible barometers of its professional “success.” I’m extremely realistic; I’m not holding my breath for a runaway hit, I'm just hoping for a solid outing, enough to justify everyone’s faith in my writing and career. On the one hand, it doesn’t seem too much to ask for, but really, it's asking for everything.

So, in short, these next few months are going to be one long stressful slog. I keep promising myself to just enjoy the journey, but that's proving easier said than done.

I’d  be interested to hear from others who’ve already passed this milestone (knowing full well that every new book starts a new trip). Any tricks, tips? Throw 'em my way.

As always, keep writing - JTS

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