Have you ever had the dream where you’re naked in a public place? You’re lost and late and don’t have a stitch of clothing on?
Maybe it’s just me.
If you’re still reading, someone once said when your book is finally published, and strangers are reading your words, it’s like standing on a busy street corner butt naked (or buck naked, if you prefer). I couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s your first book or your fiftieth, you make yourself vulnerable.
Not everyone is going to like your story. Not everyone is going to like your style. There are people out there who don’t like chocolate or bacon. Those are the people who don’t like my stories. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Thinking about EXPOSURE and VULNERABILITY is enough to make anyone want to hold onto the bud-stage as long as possible. One more edit. One more read-through. One more month.
Finally there’s the moment when you know it’s time to let go. It’s time to publicly agree with your editor and/or publisher that everything that can be done has been done. Secretly, you know there’s more to do, that if you tweak it here in this chapter or there in that scene, it’ll be more “perfect.”
Your breathing is labored. Your heartbeat is like a kettle drum. You have a flash of Sally Field saying “You like me! You really like me!” juxtaposed with Marlon Brando declining his Oscar on some weird principle which I’ve forgotten. (Thank goodness authors are much more unknown, ya know?)
Suddenly your book is “out there.” You can’t hold the bud back any longer, it’s blossomed. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
And hope there are a lot of chocolate-lovers and bacon-lovers in the world.
It’s all better with friends.