v. exciting. v. scary.

Well, that was inevitably less awful than anticipated. I re-read my revision letter (I almost typed rejection letter, there. Habit!) and not only was it not bad, which I was able to at least grasp when I read it on Monday, but it was also considerably less bad than I had even imagined it was. See what I mean? A couple of days of wound-licking and everything is better. Dumb brain. :)

But, see, I had to re-read it, because I had a noontime phone call with Matrice, which had my stomach in nervous bubbles for over an hour this morning. I had to be prepared for the phone call, since it was about revisions. :) And despite the nervous bubbles, once I was on stage it was fine. Some of the things she wants me to go into a little more detail are acknowledged weaknesses of mine (motiviation, character interaction … motivation… :)), and some of it was ‘clear up the fuzzy lines between characters X and Y’ kinds of things. It’s certainly all stuff I can do, and it’s stuff that’ll be good for the story. We talked some about cause and effect and I explained that Jo’s actions are setting up for some definite problems in future books, and–it was a good talk. Touched on a bunch of stuff and … yeah. I know, I know, I’m being semi-incoherent, but I can’t actually go into detail because, well, that’d be detail about the book. Spoilers! :)

Plus there was Hugh Jackman admiration, which had, y’know, nothing at all to do with the book, but which was entertaining anyway. *laugh* We talked about covers, not mine in specific but about Luna covers in general and how pleased people were with them, and she said she was working on back cover copy for the book and she’d probably send it along for me to look at sometime late next week, which is cool. It’s all cool!

I tell you what, though. It’s also all very scary. Everything’s happening very fast, from my perspective. I mean. It is and it isn’t. On one hand is the glacial pace at which the publishing industry moves. That’s not the part I’m talking about.

The part I’m talking about is the part where I went to the RMFW conference in September 2002 and went away from it with a fire lit under my ass. The part where I decided it was, as they say, time to shit or get off the pot. Fourteen months later I sold my first book. That’s *fast*.

I have, I think, done my time as far as developing my skills as a writer go. (Which is not to say I’m done, but rather, that I’ve written enough to have gotten a lot of those million bad words out of the way. US is the…4th (I always have to count) manuscript I’ve completed.) But during most of the time I was doing all that writing, I wasn’t submitting books. So having gotten off my ass and having started sending things out and having suddenly and abruptly *sold*, I feel… sort of like I cheated, somehow. That I got picked to go to the head of the class without going through the ritual hazing, and man. It’s scary.

I knew when I wrote US that it was sellable. Popular genre, entertaining protagonist, all that. But to have more or less turned around and *sold* it shortly after deciding it was time to do that is … overwhelming. It’s *fantastic*, it’s *incredible*, and every time I’m faced with another aspect of its reality (contract, cover art, revision letter), I get all balkish and skittery and shy. The only thing I can figure is that it’s a fear of success, more or less.

It’s not… hrm. Not that I don’t think I deserve to be published, because I’m a good writer and I tell good stories. I’m talented, but I’ve also been *tremendously* fortunate. I know an awful lot of people for whom it hasn’t been so easy, so … yeah. Some feelings of lacking entitlement, maybe, and some panic about having actually *succeeded*. I mean, this is one of those lifetime goals, you know? And whoomp, there it is. Palpable. Actually happening. Scary as all hell.

I feel like I should have some kind of useful conclusion to this, but I don’t, really. Just some observations from the trenches, I guess. :)

5 thoughts on “v. exciting. v. scary.

  1. Hmmm.

    I say hmmm because of the fire-under-your-hiney stuff. Shit or get off the pot. But how do you get off the pot?

    Just something I’ve discussed with myself when I’ve had similar conversations internally. Yoda says something similar, I guess. And I understand it: if you want something, /do it/.

    Stupid brain.

  2. You *are* a good writer and you *have* written a lot of books. You deserve to be where you are right now.

    Besides, those of us who are riding your coattails can use the insights from ‘real’ people.


  3. You’re awesome and inspiring, and I can see how exciting and scary this must be. :P

    And the Luna covers are lovely… it peeves me that NOWHERE in the books or usual places do they actually acknowledge the artists.

  4. Soula, the only way I know how to do it is straighten your knees and pull up your pants. You’ve got to just do it. *insert Nike swoosh here* Yeah, Yoda had it right. There is no try, only do, right? So, yeah.

    Ellen: you’re right, they don’t have the artists mentioned anywhere I can find. I’ll see if I can get Matrice to at least put my cover artist’s credits in. She was talking to me today about ‘front of book’ stuff, so I’ll bring that up as one of the front-of-book things.

  5. I think that getting off the pot involves coming to terms with writing being something that you do because you can and because you enjoy it, but not necessarily because you need to sell it.

    Publishing is not the end all and be all of outcomes for writing. There are people who write wonderful things and only share them among the friends. Or web publish them. Or vanity press. People for whom the writing is the reward, and sharing it is just a way to let others participate in something that’s meant so much to you. There are others who really do want to pursue the race that is the publishing industry. People for whom the goal is to be published, and for whom it is not enough to know that your family and a few friends are enjoying what you read (or even random strangers on the internet), but that people are going out and having the option to put in their grubby little hands a hard copy of your little piece of tailored soul. :)

    If writing is a reward for you, and vanity press or webpublishing appeals, then there’s no reason to not go for it. It certainly wouldn’t make a person a lesser writer; it just reflects a difference in goals. If, however, being published really means something to you and is worth your time, effort, and their rejection to see it through, then definitely go for that.

    Hopefully this was coherent.

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