My debut launches tomorrow. TOMORROW!!! ‘Scuse me a sec while I breathe into this paper bag.
Okay, I’m back. I’m better. I’ve got this.
I’m ready for launch day … I’ve written the guest posts, I’ve sent out the giveaway copies, I’ve updated my website. What I’m not ready for, though, is the congratulations. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
Over the last few months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of friends who’ve asked about the book, congratulated me, and wanted to hear how excited I am.
I am excited. I am, really. And I’m not.
Before you write me off as a total nut, hear me out … When I worked in the corporate world, every project was part of the job. It was always satisfying to see the final ad or brochure but they were drops in the bucket (I know, cliché). I’d take out a copy, leaf through it (okay, okay, I’d also smell it), then file it and move on to the next project. No one asked if I was excited and no one congratulated me.
Writing a brochure is nothing like writing a novel. Brochures don’t take years to write, revise, and publish. They’re not products of your heart and imagination. So no, I’m not comparing them that way.
But here’s where I find myself struggling – writing is my job. And as such, I’m expected to write that book just like I was expected to write the brochure.
I’m torn between the me that’s hugging this pretty hardcover book with my name on it and wanting to show it to everyone I see, and the me that gave the book a hug and a sniff, leafed through it, and put it on the shelf.
I’m torn between wanting to take the time to enjoy the moment, the feeling of this accomplishment, and the need to put it behind me and focus on the next deadlines.
Author friends keep reminding me to enjoy this time, that debuts only happen once. I know they’re right. But I also don’t quite know how to do that. Granted, I’ve never been one who was comfortable in the spotlight. I’m much happier as the behind-the-scenes-get-it-done type. That’s part of my problem now – either way you slice it, I am in the spotlight as the author. My job as a writer isn’t just to write the book. And that means I have to not only be proud of my hardcover accomplishment, I have to be proud of the soft me.
So here I am, the day before my book comes out. Part of me is relieved that the anticipation is almost over. Tomorrow it will belong to readers. The focus will shift from the excitement of a new release to the anxiety over sales.
But today, it’s still mine. And after a strict talking-to with myself, I’ve decided that today will be a no-guilt day. Today, I’m not going to worry about what’s next. Today, I’m going to sit on the couch with my book and allow myself to be proud of my accomplishment.
(Anyone want to put bets on how long I can do that?) 🙂
We always finish WITS posts with a question, something to generate discussion. I’m not sure what to ask you guys. Instead, I’d like to issue a challenge for anyone else who, like me, has a hard time looking people in the eye when they congratulate you … go to the closest mirror (this works better if you’re not in a public place – trust me!) and congratulate yourself. Whether it’s for a new release or sending out a query or finishing the first draft, those are huge milestones.
Oh wait, I do know what to ask. 🙂
What are you proud of yourself for today?
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Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world, where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats. She is a co-founder and past president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and a member of the Tall Poppy Writers. She is rep’d by Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency LLC.
Orly’s debut, The Distance Home, will be released by Forge on May 2, 2017.