Okay, so recently I was asked if anything surprised me about life as a writer. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I did start my career with some major misconceptions.
I remember thinking that authors must love it when reviewers bring up really insightful critiques of their work. That they would prefer a well-thought out 3.5 star review to an inaccurate 5 star one.
We don’t. We just want you to love us whole-heartedly.
Are we ridiculous for wanting unconditional praise? Yes. Absolutely.
But this is totally how we behave whenever we read the zinger in an otherwise awesome review.
I also thought that being published would in some way reduce my writing-related freakouts…and it hasn’t. When my characters are giving me trouble and I know I have to edit out all my Navy SEALs but I don’t want to lose them, it still feels something like this:
Okay, I’m not that bad. Usually.
There are also a number of lifestyle things I didn’t expect to change for me. For starters this looks like a perfectly reasonable purchase to me now.
I hear you, Mindy. I would so be all over that.
And this is something I would definitely say to my bestie while I complain about going to the post office…
Then she would totally look at me in disgust and say:
It’s good to have people who keep you grounded.
I also never expected to be this tied into social media.
An overreaction or…a perfectly reasonable response? You decide. I can’t.
Last but certainly not least, I thought the process of being published would generally make me cooler/less awkward. But as you can see…
Although for me it will always be pictures of ducklings and baby tigers. I just turn to mush.
I hope this post doesn’t sound negative because there are also so many wonderful things I never saw coming! Y’know, like having Disney interested in turning my debut novel into a made-for-TV movie. And because I have such amazing readers…I am getting a P.O. box so that I can sign anything you want me to (within reason, people!).
Just as soon as I get dressed…
Now some of you have requested that I send you some book-related swag, but I don’t have any. Seriously. I don’t have bookmarks or stickers or anything remotely cool that I think you would want. The closest I come is about a hundred or so coverflats of the Magical Mayhem Anthology:
So if anyone wants me to sign that and send it to them, I can do it! Otherwise, I’m a little stuck in terms of how to increase my levels of swag. If I bought white labels and signed them would you guys like that? I could even try to buy sparkly stickers to give it a little something extra if you want! Maybe some unicorns…
If any of you have suggestions for swag, I’d love to hear your ideas!
Hopefully, that way it will feel something like this…
…without breaking my budget.
But my original point (I swear, I did have one) is that I had a lot of misconceptions about the writing world when I started out. And I think my most off-base notion was that for some people this is easy. They make it look so effortless! They juggle author obligations with full-time jobs/part-time jobs/diaper changes/child-care/political and social activism, and so much more. Here is the kicker: they do all of it really well.
It is both awe-inspiring and intimidating.
Especially since most days I feel like I really accomplished something if I blog.
The truth is that those authors are sweating through their stories just like we are, even if it sometimes feels like they do this:
…while we do this:
Now I’m off to the post office!
For real this time…