Monday, August 31, 2009

For the Love of Chaos

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." :-)

Barbara writes:
#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.*


Pamela Cayne said...

Bravo to Barbara's brilliant post! I think we're all going to cut it out and put it somewhere so we see it daily.

My Labor Day plans are indeed just for me--I'm going to start querying my book next week and I couldn't be more excited. I'm one of those really sick puppies who loves the querying process.

I'm sending a box--no, a crate of virtual Cadbury your way!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela~You *should* be excited about querying this project--it's a great one! And thanks for those virtual Cadburys. I will try to devour them in moderation ;).

Jill said...

The RT article was great. I am not a reviewer or a writer (thankyougod) but I enjoyed the article.

Labor Day plans are to help our Harley dealer (Cycle Connection of Joplin) with the MDA Telethon. The telethon is broadcast locally from the dealership.

Marilyn Brant said...

Jill~you've hung out with all of us nutty writers on the Cherry loop for years and *still* managed to be one of the sanest people I've ever met... You're also the very best kind of reader :).
Thank you.

Tina M. Russo said...

Marilyn will be in Seekerville tomorrow.


You are a smart cookie, all those articles coming out. Did you mention your Janet Evanovich article in the August PROspects newsletter, huh, huh?

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL, Tina--thanks! Very excited about Seekerville today. :-)

L.A. Mitchell said...

Wise woman, that Barbara.

I can't imagine what you're going through now, but the analogy to giving birth sounds pretty dead-on. I hope you know I'm sending every good vibe I can spare up there. Love, love, loved the teaser I picked up at National. You'll be amazing!!

This weekend, I'm hosting the MIL. I'm hoping this will translate into good Karma points in the submissions department ;)

Marilyn Brant said...

L.A., good karma x 100, I'm sure! Thanks for the positive vibes, too...they're appreciated :).