One month gone (21/4/09)

Before I started this blog, I spent a good long time sitting around, drinking tea and scratching my head, wondering what the point was. Not, like, The Point, otherwise I’d still be sitting here scratching, but the point of this journal. Do I need to do this? Do I want to do this? Doesn’t everyone want to wax lyrical about everything that ticks them off and imagine they have an audience of millions?

Well maybe or maybe not, but that’s not the point.

So I had a look at some other blogs, and picked out what I liked and worked out what I liked about them and decided to be like that (naturally assuming that everyone in the world and space probably liked exactly the same stuff I do). One of the things I wanted was to see if I could get any idea of what to expect from being a “proper” (i.e. lucky) author. I wanted to know everything that happened, step by step, and so that’s partly what I’ve set out to do here (although I know I’m not the first).  I wanted to be amused and entertained, but most of all I wanted to be informed. There are plenty of author blogs out there already that chart the progress from concept to publication. There’s not too many that go on at length about how it all feels, though.

So here’s how it goes:

1. Get offered book deal. Massive exhilaration for a week or two followed by weeks of anxiety about ability to deliver something that’s good and on time.

2. Submit manuscript to editor. Massive exhilaration for a week or two followed by weeks of anxiety about what he’s going to say and why he hasn’t dropped everything to deal with my manuscript ahead of everything else.

3. Finish revising manuscript. Months of anticipation waiting for publication day mixed with a steady mounting anxiety about having to write a second book. Flashpoints of panic and terror at the prospect of reviews. If you’re me, you can be up for days over a good review and down for weeks over a bad one (or even a bland one). I imagine I’m not unique. Reviews can be a real roller-coaster and you still have to do the day-job, remember.

4. Publication day. OK, that’s pretty cool. Solid weeks of being tanked up on adrenaline. Might be a bit wearing for everyone else. Better than getting that first deal? I’d say about the same but lasts longer.

5. And then the come-down. Pointless fretting about sales figures. Wondering about what the future holds. Wondering why you’re not the centre of attention any more. Life goes on, the day-job goes on. You still have to do everything you used to have to do, only now you have to write another book and sit around worrying a lot.

Worrying about books two and beyond probably sucks too.

So overall how does it feel? It feels like I’ve gone to war and just about won. It feels mostly good but it’s hard work and the rest of life doesn’t stop to watch in admiration, far from it. And like everything, even the good things in life, too much without a break can wear you down. I’ve met lots of new people and I wish I could spend more time getting to know nearly all of them. Spare time, rest and having enough sleep are things that happen to other people. Am I pleased? Absolutely. Has it changed my life? Well a bit, but not really a lot, not yet and not anytime soon. There’s probably still an edge of smugness that didn’t used to be there. I’m sure it’ll go away soon enough.

The Order of the Scales (or whatever book three gets called) is probably about a week away from first draft completion. And then, I think, a little bit of a break. Lounging in the garden in the sun with a steady supply of Caipirinhas for a few days. That should do nicely.

Oh. Wait. I have a day-job and a family. Crap.

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3 Responses to “One month gone (21/4/09)”

  1. Karina says:

    Hey Steve, absolute nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely :)

  2. Hilde says:

    I stopped and watched in admiration. I really did. And likely will again.

  3. Stephen Deas says:

    Well, good friends are just the best, whatever else is going on in your life, neh?

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