I finished my book today. My first book. Today.
I have edited it within an inch of its life and could probably read through it one more time. But I won’t.
I will instead pack it up and send it off. I have my query letter ready, like an application for a prestigious pre-school. Will my baby get in? After the drop off, I will sit in my proverbial car, waiting and watching. I hope everything goes okay. Will the other kids like it? Will the teachers think I raised it well? Should I call and check how it’s going? Will I look like one of “those” parents? Ugh! Am I one of “those” parents?
There is a lot of anxiety tied up in this process. The anxiety of getting up every morning and plunking away trying to turn ideas and emotions into words that make sense to someone besides me. The anxiety of finishing. Seriously, I think it took me twice as long as it could have because I spent so much time worrying that it might suck. Then what?
Now, it’s done. This is all completely new to me and I have no idea what is an acceptable length of time to wait before I should start reading between the lines and realize that it’s so bad no one is going to even get back to me. And I don’t really have anyone to ask what is normal.
I have kept this project to myself for the most part. Yes, my husband knows. Most of my family knows and my closest friends do too, but I haven’t exactly put up a billboard announcing my intention to write. For starters, there is the whole what if it sucks thing? Who wants to keep getting asked, “How’s the book?” and have to say, “Sorry, it sucked, no one wanted it.” I also don’t want lots of advice from non-published people about the merits of writing, on self-publish versus traditional publishing, the genre, or pretty much anything just because they happened to have picked up a book once in their life. It’s like having to listen to people who don’t have kids tell you how to raise kids. Now if on the other hand Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts want to chime in, please feel free to pass along my contact info.
Of course, by keeping it to myself, I am not forgetting that I have told all of you about it. And maybe someday that will be more than just ironic, but as of now, I think that number really totals around 3 which I am really comfortable with given that I haven’t told anyone about the blog. This is my dipping the toe into the water place. I like it here. So far, everyone has been really nice. Or at least quiet, which I completely respect.
But I wanted to share with all 3 of you, it’s done. If nothing else, I accomplished what I set out to do. And maybe this one will end up staying in a box under my bed wrapped in a baby blue ribbon. Maybe no one of “official” import while deem it worthwhile. But for me, I am so proud. I did it! Sure, maybe I am a little anxious, but mostly proud. Excited too, definitely excited! Plus, I have a couple of other characters that have been tugging at me, I kind of would like to see what they have to say.