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.
It sounds a lot like this (and I thank the work of the amazing Brene Brown here and probably Elizabeth Gilbert too):
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!
Oh wow!! I wasn’t even thinking about the nerves part of releasing my book later this year, but now I can’t imagine how I wasn’t!! Putting your work out to be read and critiqued by others is no small feat! But I have read your work before, Due Whiting, and I will be buying this one, and I have no doubts in my mind that it will be a goodie! ?
You are very kind, Hayley. And it certainly wasn’t my intention to make you feel nervous about your book release. Whoops! Sorry about that. I think it is only natural though. You do bare your soul a little when you write a book and that does make one feel a little vulnerable. Thus the self talk. I can highly recommend it. And let’s not forget that I have read your work too and I’m sure your book will be a goodie too!
Dear Sue, A new book release is a bit like sending a child to school for the first time. You want to protect them but you know that they will have to have courage to face what lies ahead. Don’t worry it will be fine and your angst will soon be a thing of the past.
Thanks Jocelyn. Your words of wisdom are much appreciated. As always x
Totally empathise with your thoughts here. As a first time author, I don’t think I had ANY idea how vulnerable I would feel once the book was out in the world. You spend so much time in your head getting the book to an agent and then a publisher that you don’t actually think about what it will feel like once the book is actually out there on the shelves. It’s thrilling, yes. But also, that’s your heart and soul on that shelf. There’s blood, sweat and tears in that book. There’s hopes and dreams – some of them decades old. To say you feel vulnerable is an understatement!
Yep – Taryn, that’s exactly it. It is so very confronting and scary as well as being exhilarating and satisfying. Hope the book is going well!