Only other writers, who are also crazy and were absent the day God handed out self-esteem, will get this. (Before I continue, please forgive the typos, grammatical mistakes, etc. will be inevitable in this blog after being awake more than 72 straight hours). There’s big news on both book fronts: First, Wave is now in the hands of proofers who are checking on little things like commas and semi colons. I doubt my mother has slept any more than I have in the last few days, helping me to get rid of the tiny mistakes that go along with a 60,000 word manuscript. (Thank you, Mom!) Just when I thought sleep was on the horizon, I got a call and email from my Crazy publisher, who informed me that Crazy will be out in two weeks or less. This sounds like great news, right? It is, I think. Sort of.
It’s one thing to write a book. I’ve been doing that on my own, for myself, for the past ten years. But it’s a whole different story when people are actually going to read what you wrote. This is where Erin’s social anxiety and – well, chicken shit – come into play. I think I may throw up or move to the north pole.
Over the past year, I’ve met many authors. It’s part of working with a publisher. I’ve talked to them and learned that there are two types. There are those who can’t wait to see their names in print and believe they have written the next best seller. Then, there are the recluses, like me, who aren’t really sure exactly what they are doing. Sure, I set out to write a book. I did that. I sent it out to publishers. Check. Yep. That was me. But I’m not sure I really thought about what it would be like to have my words out there for all the world to see.
The truth is, I’m terrified. Writing a book is like speaking before you think. It’s words slipping out of you that you can never get back. You can chase them, you can try to reword them, but you can’t change them. I love Crazy Like Me. My editor, Colleen, helped me to take what started off as a venting session and turn it into a funny, tongue-in-cheek look into the mysterious man – woman – behind the curtain known as a group therapist. But that doesn’t mean everyone will. And I’m not sure I’m ready for the critiques.
I’ll write many more books. It’s my retirement plan. But no character will ever take the spot Katherine Murphy holds in my heart. I just wish I could summon her now, to help me get this book into the world with the confidence she’d want Brenda to have. I’ll do it, and I won’t chicken out. I’m off to find Brenda’s shoes. Wish me luck! See you (or come find me hiding) in two weeks!
To my fellow writers like me, who aren’t sure they can stomach release day? Hang in there. You aren’t alone. All those things you warned me about? I get it now. We’re walking the same journey. An exciting one, for sure! But scary all the same. Thanks for being there, guys.