Everyone has been asking me lately how I've been doing, with the expectation that I must be positively glowing with delight over the upcoming release of According to Jane (in 29 days) and that, really, no time in my life should be more exciting than this.
Yeah...um, those of you who've had a baby or two, remember how you were nauseous for months? How 1/3 of the time you were thrilled and a 1/3 of the time you were kinda nervous and 1/3 of the time you were panicking beyond all reason? How you needed to devour daily Cadbury bars--with healthful nuts and raisins, of course--to calm your nerves? (Or maybe that was just me.) Well, I see very little difference between pregnancy and pre-publication, only I'm doing a LOT more blogging these days.
At least in the knotty area of reviews, I have a sense of (some) personal peace. I wrote about it in the October 2009 issue of Romantic Times, where I discussed the difference--emotionally and logically--between being the reviewer vs. the person whose book was being reviewed. But I think the talented Barbara Samuel explained her thoughts on reviews and dealing with publication anxiety far better than I could have in this post on Writer Unboxed last week.
She wrote about two very important things to remember, and her wisdom has helped me to embraced the current chaos a bit better and to let go of expectation a little more. Ironically, both lessons my main character has to learn... Who said that we teach best what we most need to learn? (A caramel-covered brownie to anyone who shot back, "Richard Bach, Illusions." :-)
#1 Once the book is published, it no longer belongs to us. It belongs to each individual reader.
#2 The book is not the writer who wrote it. Your book is not you. You are not the book.
(Grateful sigh.) Thanks for the reminder, Barbara. That is all so, so true.
Anyway, one thing I promised myself I'd do this week was to take some time away from the persistent demands of the computer screen and read or watch something that interests me. So, soon (!!!), I will have more to add to my list of completed Everything Austen Challenges. What are you all doing this week? Upcoming Labor Day plans?? Would love to hear about one thing you're doing *just for you.*