Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Truthful Tuesday Gets Personal

Okay, I'm going to admit something scary and wildly personal and something I hope I've been keeping deep inside (except from my CP's and others insane enough to encourage an email relationship with me).

But who am I kidding? You guys can see into my head, right?

Are you ready, though?

Okay, so I got my copy edits, and holy cow, you guys. It's the first time EVER that my book actually feels like a book. And it's still printed on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper. But dude, it has all this writing on it from ACTUAL EDITORS, and it had the front pages of the book. You know the ones that we authorly people all read first. The ones that list the imprint, and the font the type is in and the date it was published. You read those right? Or is that only me...?

Ahem, anyway.

So those pages are in the copy edits. And it says "Copyright [insert little copyright symbol here] by Elana Johnson 2011."

I can feel the tears starting, but I'm blinking rapidly so I can keep reading what else is in those opening pages.

I look down, and there's an ISBN number for both the hardcover and the e-book.

My husband loses it.

I'm thisclose to sobbing, and I'm just sitting there holding this HUGE stack of paper, and it's not even a book but it's so a book, and not just any book, but MY BOOK.

And just as I'm about to let the tears out, I get hit with this giant wave of...

Fear.

And that's my truth for today.

I'm terrified of my book being born.

More than dogs, more than ducks, more than running out of bacon, I'm scared of my book becoming real and the fact that other people are going to read it.

Crazy?

You decide.

What are you afraid of?

74 comments:

Elaine AM Smith said...

There is bad scary and good scary - this sounds like the second to me.
Ducks, geese and swans? They make me hold my breath and walk a little quicker ;)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

This is a beautiful post, and I'm so glad for you, even if it is terrifying. I got shivers when you mentioned the copyright.
Oh, and I also read those first pages, so you're not alone there. :)

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

I agree with Elaine. No fear! You have gotten through the scariest part. We're so excited for your book! Sending you a big virtual *hug*!

Marissa

KarenG said...

What am I scared of? The list is so long.... Anyway, so cool Elana, and I hope you can get past the fear and enjoy each thrilling moment!

Jamie Grey said...

I can only imagine how you must feel, but I know I would probably feel the same way seeing my book like that for the first time. It's kind of like there's no turning back now! (Which is fantastic cause I'm dying to read it :)

What is the saying - Feel the fear and do it anyway? I kind of think this is one of those situations. *hugs*

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think that's a normal fear. It's a huge thing to let the world read your book, your baby. But it's also so cool. Enjoy it.

My fear? That if I ever get published I won't be able to handle the writing deadlines, marketing, and my very demanding job as an attorney.

lynnrush said...

This is wicked-awesome!!! Thanks for taking us a long for the ride.

It's okay to be a little scared but try to enjoy it, too. This is so cool. I'm glad we get to share the journey with you.

Have fun with your edits. Woo-hoo!!!

Katie said...

Oh Elana, I feel for you! It's so wonderful but success is scary too, right?

Good luck with those edits! It feels like your journey is going so fast!

I feel like it was just yesterday you got that box with books and chocolate...

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so excited for you:) Enjoy this process:))
I get my edits back today from a professional editor and I am so afraid she decided she didn't charge enough--that my book stinks!

Emily White said...

It does sound really scary, but how exciting too!

Wen Baragrey said...

Oooh, awesome scary! :)

Me, I've been scared of the plane I'm supposed to be taking on Friday for the past two months. Tonight, I found out I might not be able to take it after all, and now, I'm more afraid of that. I suspect I'm difficult to please.

And I love those copyright pages too!

Christina Lee said...

I just got the chills. I can imagine it feels just like that! AND I'll bet it's all the same emotions everyone else feels. But it is a bit of a catch 22. You want it out in the world (so badly) but you don't, b/c then it becomes public and there's an aftermath there too. I SO feel you!!

HollyAnn said...

We, as writers, are constant warriors. We let people critique our work and judge every line. Then we send queries out just to get rejected over and over again. The agents judge. Then we go through substansive edits...then copy edits. The editors and publishers judge. Then it's time to get judged by our readers once that book comes out and people read it. That is why we are a community of people who care about each other and stick together. We are here for you, and we'll always have your back...and buy your book!

Suzanne said...

That is scary cool, though! I can't wait to get there. I thought it was amazing to get back a revision letter from a real, live editor! I try not to think about the "what if" of readers not wanting to read what I've written. It's almost too scary to contemplate. Just enjoy the edits and don't worry about the rest :-)

Renae said...

I am so happy for you Elana! How exciting! I'm so glad you're sharing your journey with us!

~Jamie said...

I am so happy for you! And, don't be scared... I know YA, and your book--it belongs in that world. I promise.


What I'm scared of? That I tricked everyone into thinking I was good enough to get as far as I have, and they're about to figure it out. :)

Slamdunk said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with that--just part of your success.

Hmm, for some reason being adrift in the ocean makes me afraid. It is a good thing I am not a sailor.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I can't wait to see the cover. Heck, I can't wait to read the book. :D

Ishta Mercurio said...

That's a good kind of scary, like when you realize that you're going to become a parent for the first time. It's healthy.

Hannah Kincade said...

Seriously, dude. It's too early for me to be crying and you got me crying! Jerk.

I'm so excited for you though!! It is the greatest, most terrifying thing for a writer. Relish it.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Stop, you'll make me cry.

I'm so excited for you. I can imagine it is a scary feeling, seeing something you've wanted for so long realised. :)

Judy Harper said...

Oh wow! Yeah, I can understand about the fear-not so much concerning having a book published, but that sense of knowing something you've worked on is now about to be out there for all to see. First there's that pride, then your knees are kicked out from under you with "what if no one likes it. What if I fail."
Hey, you deserve a huge pat on the back! Just remember, you have taken the plunge! Good luck!

Candyland said...

Not crazy. Beautiful, actually. I long for that feeling. We all do. It must be so surreal.

Jamie Burch said...

I savor every bit of a book too. Elana, I am so thrilled for you! I hope those fears subside soon. Glad you are enjoying every moment! Can't wait for when it hits the shelves...:)

My truth: Most days, I feel like a wannabe writer. (But I'm working on that!)

storyqueen said...

The fear is good. I know it sounds crazy, but it just means you care a lot. But you have to know in your heart that you can handle this....because really, you've already done the hardest part.

My fear? that the school year will swallow me up.

Steena Holmes said...

Holding that book in your hand ... priceless fear. Hold onto that feeling Elana - because it's a first for you ;)

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Awe that is so cool! Very exciting Elana! Your family must be VERY proud.

Regina said...

I'm scared to fail, but I am more terrified not to try. So I am working hard to get it done. I am thrilled for you. It sounds like a precious fear that you just went through. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I can't wait to see it and read it. Best wishes.

Jemi Fraser said...

I can totally understand that - it's a huge accomplishment - and those are often accompanied by fear. But you know what? It's going to be awesome - it couldn't be anything else :)

Michelle McLean said...

lol not crazy at all. When I saw my book available for pre-order on Amazon, I jumped and screamed and yes, even cried a little. Then I realized that real people would be reading it, and possibly loving it and just as possibly hating it. And I've been terrified ever since LOL

Seeing my book on a shelf in a few months is going to be one of the most awesome experiences of my life. And also one of the most terrifying. That book is a part of me. And it is unbelievably scary to put 'ME' on a shelf for the world to see.

You aren't crazy, my dear, you are an author :) And you are most definitely not alone in the Terror Zone LOL

Indigo said...

I get it. I truly get this. This is something I fight against every time I sit down to write. A fear of what I might accomplish, whether the book will be good enough, and the worst - am I good enough.

Dear sweet Elana - YOU are good enough and you worked so very hard to get to this part. Relinquish your fears and revel in the victory of an amazing talent. (Hugs)Indigo

Carol Kilgore said...

Every so often emotional earthquakes shake up our world. It must be our subconscious finally coming out of denial. Dunno. Respect it, and move on. Don't let the fear paralyze you. And me? I'm scared of way too many silly things to list here, but not dogs or ducks :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I haven't gotten my copyedits yet, but in my first-round edits, my editor had included a title page with a place for disclaimers, ISBNs, all that good stuff.

Very, very thrilling. And scary.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I remember that feeling and it's scary. I didn't cry, but I sure screamed. And every book after that has carried the same fear. Sometimes worse, as expectations are higher.

margogremmler.com said...

Oh, Elana! How scary and wonderful that experience must have been.
Chip MacGregor wrote a blog post back in March that explored the "fear of success" – in which I completely subscribe! (uh, the blog and the fear...)
Anyway, I think it's worth a read!
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341d842e53ef01310ff8151b970c

laurel said...

It's like giving birth, isn't it? You're holding your brainchild and hoping it will have a good life in the world.

Annette Lyon said...

I totally get it. I had a similar moment with my first one. Tears of joy, followed by sheer panic.

I'd wanted it forever--and then it was going to happen, I freaked. People I don't even know are going to read this. And they won't all LIKE it, either! AAAAACK!

(It doesn't get much easier.)

Books Dudes Will Read said...

Yep, we all hope the world will play nice with our babies, human or literary.
So, if the bullies beat up your baby, you can count on all of us to have your back. Mamas of the world, unite! (Papas, too, of course.)
And I'm guessing you're gonna sell the hell out of POSSESSION. Fear or no fear.

LReneeS said...

It's okay that you are a bit scared and nervous right now, but I think once your book gets published that will pass. Elana, that's AWESOME that your book is getting somewhere and thanks so much for sharing with us.

Hey, you got an award over at my blog. Check it out when you can because I feel you really deserve this: http://lrenees-fictionalwriter.blogspot.com/2010/08/writers-blog-award.html
Good post; that's great that you can tell us that experience.

Happy writing,
LReneeS
author of the Magicians series

Bish Denham said...

Enjoy the feeling. Breathe in, breath out. Don't hyperventilate. (Some day I hope I can experience the feelings.)

John Sankovich said...

I think what you are going through is really exciting and hope to get to that point someday. I remember reading your book way back when we swapped each other's work for critique, I want to say it was like 2 years ago, maybe longer, or shorter, but I'm excited to read about your success, and hope to share my own someday in the near future.

Matthew Rush said...

I read those pages. No question.

And I totally understand the fear. I mean I haven't been THERE, exactly, but I've been there. It's natural.

Valerie Ipson said...

I totally get the scariness. I'm finding that I fear success more than failure because failure is easy, it's comfortable. Success brings expectation.

Okay, sorry, I'm not making you feel better. Stock up on bacon so you will never run out and breathe deep. It will be a wonderful ride!

I love reading the first few pages of books, too. It's sometimes the most interesting part.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks everyone! I'm trying to enjoy it without puking or getting all trapped in the what-ifs. Sometimes it's easier than other times.

You guys are awesome -- and I can't wait (well, I can) for the book to get out there. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks everyone! I'm trying to enjoy it without puking or getting all trapped in the what-ifs. Sometimes it's easier than other times.

You guys are awesome -- and I can't wait (well, I can) for the book to get out there. :)

Kelly said...

That is so exciting, Elana! I understand the fear, and I hope to share it one day!
Your book will rock though! I have no doubt!

Lisa Gail Green said...

OMG I could almost cry for you!! Congratulations. It must be scary but also thrilling and wonderful. Enjoy it.

Tere Kirkland said...

Not crazy. But yeah, I'd be scared, too.

Although, IMeversohumbleO, I don't think you've got anything to worry about.

(Hugs!)

~Tere

K. M. Walton said...

Push that fear off the dock and let it sink to the bottom, girl! Let your book soar...because you know it will!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You've worked hard. But until now, it's all been basically inside your head.

Now, it's physical. It's real. It's your child -- about to go into the world to be read, evaluated, and judged. It's a piece of your soul, without armor in a world not known for its kindness.

Of course, you are scared. For it to be able to succeed, it has to risk the chance of failure and jibes.

But that's just it. It's already won. It won out over the thousands upon thousands of manuscripts pounding on the editors' doors to be let it.

It was let in, accepted, and printed. You have already won a thousand battles in just getting this far.

You will win this next battle. Congrats, Elana. Roland

Julie Musil said...

Oh Elana, I got chills just reading this post! Sure, this is scary and exciting and crazy, but it's all wonderful! Who knows, maybe that fear stems from those tiny seeds of doubt us writers never seem to be able to shake off. Enjoy this time...YOUR time! Congratulations, you deserve it.

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh wow, Elana, this post gave me major goosebumps....because I can so imagine the tears, and the fear! You are not crazy. I'd be both scared and exhilerated! (can you believe I'm still waiting???)

Deni Krueger said...

What scares me? Wondering if my husband will come home safe from Afghanistan.

Today I went to a memorial service for a medic that worked with my husband. He was killed 2 1/2 weeks ago.

Military life has totally changed my perspective on writing. I wrote about it on my blog a few months ago if you're interested in taking a look: http://denikrueger.blogspot.com/2010/03/today-were-not-on-bus.html

Paul Greci said...

Totally natural fear--that's my take. Congrats, Elana!!

Krispy said...

I think this is a reasonable (if somewhat irrational?) fear, if that makes sense. I mean, something you created - near and dear to you - will soon be out there in the world! But I think also a chunk of this fear has to be excitement - pure, incredulous, amazed excitement because your book is a book. And that kind of excitement is scary. :)

You're not crazy, and I'm still terrified of spiders. Eck.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

oh yes! My excitement of looking at the little copyright design lasted only about .5 seconds before the fear kicked in. Someone is going to read it. I hear ya sista.
(can't WAIT to read you book)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

You are not crazy, Elana! It's terrifying! When my book hit the shelves and people started posting me pictures of it sitting on bookshelves across the country, I felt like I had let my toddler wander out into traffic all by itself.

That book is your child.

Krista said...

Elana, I have goosebumps! Fear has begun to creep in around my edges, too. What will people think? *shudder*
But it's all so glorious! Hang on to the wonder of it! I love that you shared this. Thank you!

PK Hrezo said...

How overwhelming it must feel! It's not just a dream anymore.... it's real... and that IS scary!!!
And it's awesome! Congrats!!! Can't wait to read it!

Gail said...

My fear... no matter how hard I work, I'll never get an agent AND no matter how hard I try, I'll never get traditionally published.
Wait....I had to let the hyperventilating stop so I could type.
Okay, I admitted it, that's have the cure, right?

LeishaMaw said...

I'm so happy for you! Congrats!

Red Boot Pearl said...

That's amazing! And I totally read books cover to cover... that means EVERYTHING in between. How cool to see the copyright and everything. That's just awesome...

And of course we are all dying to be published, but that doesn't mean it won't scare the crap out of us when we are... new things are kind of scary. Hmmm maybe nervous is a good word, or horribly self conscious or all of the above :)

Kaylie said...

There's something so official about a copyright symbol, especially when your name's beside it. Or so I hear.

Lydia Kang said...

ooh, I know what you fear. I fear it too, and I'm no where close to where you are!

Jan Rider Newman said...

That sounds so reasonable and believable. I never would've thought of that, and if I get so lucky, I'll probably be as afraid of my book coming out as I'd be of Godzilla coming after me. Congratulations!

Karen Lange said...

No, not crazy. The reality of your book being out there for all to see and potentially say things about would, to me, be sobering. But I say chose the squeal-y excitement, though, over the nail biting. Congrats to you:)
Have a great week,
Karen

R. B. LeMoyne said...

So glad I'm not the only one who reads that first page! Must be a writer thing.

I'm very excited for you! Hopefully I'll be enjoying that very same fear before the year is up!

WritingNut said...

It definitely sounds scary, but a wonderful kind of scary :) I'm so happy and excited for you!

Claire Dawn said...

I'm scared of success. :(

Because with success come critics. And movie options which don't portray your book quite the way you want it. And your baby's not your baby any more. :(

Kristen said...

Elana, I must say I teared up a bit when I read this. I'm so happy for you! I can't believe all the great stuff that has happened since I sat next to you on the shores of Tibblefork lake. It's inspiring. BTW, I get the fear thing. Holy crap...people are going to read this...even when I'm dead. Legacy baby!

jmartinlibrary said...

It's real. It's happening. It's scary...but it's also totally amazing and AWESOME that your book is being publishing. SOON!

Fear not, we'll love it.

Nichole Giles said...

I am afraid of the exact opposite. My book never being born.

But congrats on the fantabulous news! So excited, and your book will be awesome.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Such an amazing scary thing. I can only imagine what it must be like. I hope you continue to be awed by every step of this experience.

Jean Oram said...

That's awesome, Elana! Congrats on getting your book deal. Holding those copy edits would have my heart beating so hard and fast! Wow! How thrilling!

Congratulations! I can't wait to see you on the book shelves.

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