A number of things led me to a place in January, 2010 where I was now going to give the full-time writing thing a go.
I was SO scared. I didn't know if I would fly or fall.
Maybe deep down, that's why I ended up writing a book that's ultimately about fear. About moving forward even when you're terrified. About finding people who understand and can tell you, when you need to hear it most, It's going to be okay. I began writing The Day Before in February, my first book as a full-time writer.
There are a lot of things in this business that can cause a writer to feel fear. In fact, I think it's safe to say, there's something at every turn.
You have an idea, and what if it's not as good on paper as in your head? Fear.
You finish your manuscript, and now it's time to find beta readers. Fear.
You finish your revisions, and now it's time to write the query letter. Fear.
You finish writing the query letter, and now it's time to send it out. Lots of fear!
You get requests to read the manuscript. More fear.
You sell the book, and realize people are going to actually read it. Fear.
Galleys are printed and sent to reviewers. Fear.
Release day comes. *gulp*
I heard a definition recently that I want to share. "Courage is not the absence of fear, but actually forward motion in the presence of fear."
Still, I know, some days, it's hard to be courageous. And so, this week, here's what I'm doing. I'm focusing on gratitude.
If you had asked me five years ago if I'd have four YA novels and two MG novels on the shelves by 2011, I'd have thought you were totally and completely insane. And yet, thanks to my agent, Sara Crowe and my publishers, Simon Pulse and Aladdin, that's exactly what has happened. I'm SO grateful to them.
I'm thankful for my family, who has supported me in this writing thing from day one, and for the many wonderful friends I've made along the way.
I'm thankful that I'm still here, writing full-time, doing what I *love*.
Each time a book is released, I have to figure out what to do with the fears that start to surface about reviews, sales, etc. If I've learned anything since my first novel, it's that when the book hits the shelves, or the e-reader as the case may be, it's no longer mine. If I'm going to stay sane, I *have* to let it go and give it away. Pass it on to who it belongs to now.
And that brings me to more gratitude. Oh how I'm grateful for my loyal and faithful readers, who buy my books and tell their friends about them.
Thank you, dear readers. Really and truly, THANK YOU! Those are the words I'll play on repeat in the coming days, if the fears start to surface. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to be afraid when you're feeling grateful. And I do have so much to be grateful for!!!
As for my book, I'd just like to say - welcome to the world Amber and Cade. I know it's kind of scary, but I have a feeling you're going to be just fine.