In less than 2 weeks, The Haunted House Project officially releases. However, Amazon started shipping pre-orders this week, so my book is about to be in the hands of friends and family (and eventually, perfect strangers). I always tell my students in public speaking that I'm a little odd. Most people like audience filled with people they know. I'll take a roomful of strangers every time. I feel less pressure. I worry less about disappointing.
Each stage of the publishing process presented a new challenge. From writing and draft work to querying agents to submitting to editors to revising and waiting, waiting, waiting for this moment. And now that it's almost here, it's far scarier than I anticipated. Did I do the characters justice? Is it good enough?
Of course the biggest is, "What if everyone hates it?"
This morning I can't help but compare this process to being a parent. Each stage of parenting presents new challenges. Holy cow I could not wait to get through that awful toddler stage, but my goodness they don't stop talking at around four. It's hard to appreciate where you are when you're there because you're so busy focused on how the next phase is going to be better.
Eventually (way too flipping soon!) you have to send those babies out into the world. Did I do them justice? Are they good enough?
And of course the biggest is, "What if I failed?"
You know you didn't fail. You know they're good, but they'll make mistakes. You know they'll succeed … most of the time. I imagine you always worry, but eventually, you see them become their own person and the pride takes over.
I'm hopeful anyway that's where I'll get.
I'm hopeful I'll feel that way about my book, too. I know not everyone will love it. And that's okay, right?
Because I can be proud what I did, the characters who didn't exist before I brought them to life.
They're ready for me to send them out into the world.
Be good. Play Nice. Make friends.