So here's the deal: I have completed a manuscript for a second book. I have no idea if it will ever be published. This is something I've been dealing with for about a year now and I figure the time is ripe to share some feelings. It's gonna be that sort of blog post.
But before you run away, you should know it won't all be touchy-feely. It will, however, be honest.
sometime after I got my book deal for Mapmaker, but before my book actually came out
(a looooong, extended period of almost two years, if you recall), I had
a great fear. My fear was this: that book one would turn out to be a
fluke, that I would never get published again and be henceforth known as
a one-pubbed wonder.
I wouldn't say it was my absolute
greatest fear (tidal waves still win that one)...but it was up there. I
wrote afraid, I revised afraid, I submitted afraid.
I was scurred, people.
Then Mapmaker came out. And it was awesome and surreal. On the other hand, it was also very real.
It was no longer a dream or fantasy to have a book published, it was my
reality. And along with the awesomeness of that came, well, the
realities of it. The ups and downs of real life and a real business that
I was now a part of. I did say business. Because as wonderful as book
publishing is, it is also that. Being an author is my job. And, as a
job, as any job, it has its good and bad days.
And now the [good] day has come that I've let go of
the fear. I can see it happening, me maybe never getting published
again. And you know what? It's not so bad. I'll still always be a
published author. I'll still always have that checked off my bucket list.
No one can take away the friends I've made through this journey, or
the experience I've had. Someone somewhere whom I don't know can still
read a story that I wrote...and love it.
And if I never get to experience that again? It's okay. Because I got to experience it once.
thing I do know: I'll never stop writing, at least not as far as I
can see. I'll tell my stories like I've always done. Jot them down
and work on them until they're good, and then again, until they're
better. If it means it's something I'll only do for myself, possibly
for some loyal friends to read, I'm okay with that.
I really am. Because, really, that is exactly where I was before I ever got a book offer. And I was happy there.
The good news is that it's time to write unafraid again, revise unafraid, submit
unafraid. Maybe, eventually, another book deal will come through. Maybe it won't. But I feel like letting go, for
me, is one of those life lessons I have to keep relearning over
and over again. My own existential Groundhog Day, if you will.
It's a good one...one I hope will be a little easier gained next time I catch myself hyperventilating over something or another. Though I'm okay with being irrationally terrified of tidal waves. Because they are SO SCARY.