THOSE PRE-RELEASE JITTERS
In thirty-one days Missing will be released into the wild. I am both inordinately excited and ridiculously anxious about this. Missing will be my sixteenth trade publication and my sixth novel for children and young adults. You’d think I’d be over the nerves by now, wouldn’t you? But somehow I seem to get more nervous with each new book. Perhaps this time it is because this book is particularly special and important to me in a number of ways. I’m not sure …
Regardless of the reasons, I have the same somersaulting butterflies I had prior to dropping both my kids at “big” school for the first time. The same kind of worries too. With my kids, I desperately hoped I had done enough in their early years for them to be able to make it out in the world on their own, to find their place, to be happy and secure and to make friends. I kinda want the same thing for Missing too.
But it is all out of my control now. It is a thing – a book. No longer the manuscript, or the draft, or the proof. A book. I can no longer tinker and finesse and plug up plot holes with writerly putty. It is done and dusted. And I desperately hope that I’ve done enough.
Truth is, releasing a book into the wild makes you vulnerable – in oh-so-many ways – and so there has been much self talk going on.
Suzie Q, know that this is the best book you have written so far.
It’s not perfect. But it’s enough. And who needs perfection anyhow?
Be proud of the fact that three years ago, it was nothing more than a wiggling thought in your brain – an idea – and now it is a whole book, with an awesome cover and pages and words. Your words. Words that you have meticulously chosen to best tell Mackenzie’s sad tale. Words that your publisher and editors have helped you to wrestle into shape. Know that you have given this story your all – that you have worked damn hard for Missing to be the best you could make it.
It’s time to be brave now. To let go. To show up and say: this is a thing that I made and I am proud of it.
Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. Sorry if I’m sounding needy – but I think you guys will understand.
And now I can get on with organising that launch!