The doorbell rang just as I was sitting down to write this blog. I went downstairs and found a large box from Gallery Books on my doorstep. I ran to my neighbor’s house with the heavy item, because this moment couldn’t be done alone, and opened up the large container. A rush of emotion filled me - seven years of hoping and praying while trying to keep the faith that this moment would happen - I was holding the final copy of my book, The Lake House.
There’s a common theme among my friends and family as I come to publication - pure excitement and surprise that I wondered if I would make it to this point. And of course they all believe I'll be an instant bestseller, famous, and rich. Everyone knows how hard I’ve worked, but many don’t realize the fear that accompanies the decision to become a published author.
So much of what happens in the publishing world is out of the writer’s hands. We give of our hearts, souls, bodies, and minds to make our characters come to life. We wake at odd hours and fall asleep long after we should’ve gone to bed in order to write when inspiration hits. But then we have to let go and let others hold our fate.
Last week, I felt rather clueless and like I’d shown up three hours late to the party. Every other author knew so much more than I did and I hadn't heard from my publisher. It turns out, even though I was naïve about the whole process, I had an incredible team working hard behind the scenes. Marketing and sales had been pushing furiously for my novel and my ship numbers were huge for a debut (and I spent months needlessly worried that my book wouldn’t be anywhere).
For seven years I've worked and waited, always wondering if it would be worth it in the end or if anyone would even read my story. There have been many emotional nights in the last month when this fear became bigger than I could handle. I wanted to find someway to believe that it was all going to work out, so I ran around determined to do it on my own. If only I had known to let go and trust in my team.
Things have gone into high gear. Interview and blog requests have come in. Everything is coming together for the launch party. Friends and even strangers are excited to read my book and suddenly I'm too busy to worry anymore.
I'll still continue to promote my book anyway I can, but for now I’m going to celebrate this moment.
I would love to know how other writers keep the worrying at bay...or how you keep the love for your project alive when you are doubting.