So, its been a little less than two months since I got the call. It's amazing how quickly things can change. Sure, there's the parties and the excitement. The rites of passage and open door to new opportunities. But then, things quiet down and you realize your entire career, your writing and how you look at it has instantly changed.
I'm experiencing this more acutely in the last month.
First, there were the revisions on the book they bought. While intimidating, I thought I was doing pretty okay. Word from the editor may prove otherwise, but given my initial panic, things were on track to give them what they asked for. One of the things my editor requested was the addition of a love scene. The original only had one, so I shifted things around and added another earlier in the book.
It was then, as I typed their romantic interlude (down by the fireplace... sorry, Barry White moment there... or it is Chef from South Park?), that I realized things had really changed. Someone was going to read this. I mean really read this. Not just Instigator or whomever else I could rope into it before I sent it out. Not just the editor. The sex I was typing at that exact moment would be in the hands of my friends, family, coworkers and total strangers in less than a year's time. I'd never really had this worry before. I don't know if a part of me figured most of what I did would never see the light of day or what. So I started looking over it. Did it reveal too much about me? Would someone reading it think they'd gotten some insight into my freaky side?
I pushed the panic aside and finished. A little too late to worry. I mean the whole point or writing is for it to be read. I had to remind myself that.
Then I started the next book. I plotted it, put together a synopsis, and jumped right in. Then, once again, I was aware of this new layer of expectations on me. This wasn't just another book. This had to be another publishable book. My sophomore release. The evidence of my growth as an author. A book good enough for my editors to sigh in relief because they hadn't made the mistake of acquiring a one hit wonder.
No pressure. :)
No worries, though. I'm working through my neurosis and have completed two chapters without a meltdown. A third chapter is questionable... It was just a shift I didn't expect with all the excitement and hullabaloo of the 'sale.' When you're unpublished, all you're striving for is crossing that line, getting into the clubhouse. Then when you get there, you're like... hmm... Now I'm settling into the reality of being a professional, published author. I imagine its like getting engaged or finding out you're pregnant and realizing that a million little things will be different from here on out.
So, have you ever done something you've done before, then suddenly realize that everything is different now? How did it change things for you?