So it’s in. All the way in. 80, 567 words: funny words, silly words, sweet words, angry words.
The book has gone to be turned into a bound thing that will be passed to other people for comment–and judgement. And now I’m talking to the marketing people, and the publicity people (Those are pretty different; who knew?) and even the legal team. Memoirs get reviewed by the “anything in here we could get sued for?” watchgang. That’s one way I knew all of the sudden this was different from other writing projects.
Actually, you know the thing that made me think, “*&^%! This is real!”? It was reviewing the final edits where the front page of the pages on the computer screen were all set up with codes and ISBN numbers and such.
That’s not a manuscript; that’s a book.
How many times have I opened to just that page to decide where to place a book on our shop’s shelves–as in, is this a memoir or political commentary or humor? (Curse you, Hunter S. Thompson!)–or to find out if someone has a first edition, or otherwise decode some inside info from the book world.
And now I’m coded. I’m a book. I’m gonna get shelved. I’m gonna get ignored. 100,000 books are published each year in the U.S. alone. Who’s gonna notice this one? I have to learn to Tweet and use social media for display and awareness. I need a Pinterest presence. I need an author page on Goodreads.
I can barely set the date on my bedside clock, y’all.
Oddly enough, in the middle of all this stuff I need to learn to do, my overwhelming urge is to clean the house, top to bottom, and weed the front garden. Alles muss in Ordnung sein.
It probably didn’t help that finals week–spent grading my students’ term papers and exams by day–coincided with the final edits. There wasn’t a lot of sleep, last week.
By the end of May, I’ll go back to being an energetic bookstore owner who loves life in general and hers in particular. But this week, maybe we can just admit that the post-writing blahs are really exhaustion mixed with fear, masquerading as a desire to impose order because chaos is descending with unnerving swiftness.
Then again, as my friend Jenny says, “Oh, get over yourself! You’re getting published! Stop acting like a sad little mopey artist and get your butt into high gear, or I’ll kickstart you myself!”
She has a point … anybody out there know how to get a wine glass stain out of hardwood? Or use Twitter?