What Sharing Your First Novel Feels Like

I had a great 25th birthday. I mean, as far as birthdays go, it was top-notch. There was unicorn soda topped with cotton candy and lots of playing pretend. Escape Rooms are everything I ever wanted as a child: old Victorian ambience, brass keys, an old leather-bound journal full of blotted clues and the ramblings of an insane time-traveling inventor. And secret passageways. What more could I ask for in life?

birthday-queen.png

So really, when my sister & mum called with a  big “birthday surprise”, I was already sitting fat and happy as the Queen of Birthdays.

My sister is a librarian back in my hometown, and she was trying to choose a book for the Teen Reading Program this Summer. Aaaaand, mum suggested my book. The head librarian loved the idea and kind of took it and multiplied it into this big, sparkly, elephant of a project.

elephant

Picture this: a community Author Visit (with yours truly) talking about the writing process, my book, the power of reading, etc. The library buying 35 (35!!!) copies of my book for staff and book club. Me, meeting with the kids throughout the summer, discussing writing, changes, edits and such.

What a wonderful, INCREDIBLE opportunity, right? How fun! How amazing! This is exactly what I wanted! People, reading a book I’d written. MY book, sitting on the shelves of a library! I am so ridiculously excited, I can barely stand it … sort of.

Because that excitement is being slightly smothered by whole lot of “I’m freaking out. Like, a lot.”

FAT-HEADED SCHMO

Who am I to give an Author Visit? I’m no author! I mean, yeah, I wrote a book. And, yeah, my mum liked it. But, that doesn’t make me an author! I don’t want to look like some big-headed schmuck:

im-amazing

“Aherm. Ye-es. Look at amazing me; me and my unpublished, self-edited book. Oh ye-es. All the critics are raving about my literary genius. And by critics, I mean my mom. Therefore, you should look up to me as a great authority on the matter. Ye-es!”

So… I’m a little nervous about the whole thing.

I’m tempted to go the ‘Aw shucks’ route, you know?

“Aw, shucks, guys. Huh-huh. I dunno too much. Just, ya know, wrote a little book. But, ya know, ANYONE could write a novel…”

Ok, I’m A LOT nervous about the whole thing.

THE PUBLIC APPEARANCE OF MY RAW SOUL

Because, this book is my baby. My first-born, half-deformed baby. And, I love him dearly and cherish above the stars, but I’m hesitant to show his ugly, self-edited face to the world. Heck, showing the book to my parents and husband was terrifying.

This. This is a bit of a step up…

It’s like opening up my chest and showing off my raw soul to the one town I feel like will never see me as anything more than that one-awkward-quiet-kid.

At least, if I was published, I’d have the validation that someone other than my mom liked my soul and thought it was worthy of sharing.

At least, if my book was professionally edited, my raw and very private soul would get a working over. The rough edges smoothed out. The zits covered. The too private portions removed. You know, to make it presentable to the public: my phantom child given a mask and wig of sorts.

first-novel

BUT, in the end, I LOVE writing. Yes, 95% of me wants to feign nonchalance on the topic, like writing is just a silly little hobby. Criticism on something you don’t care much about doesn’t hurt much. Failure when your passion, your soul, is on the line is terrifying. Terrifying.

BUT. I want to be a writer – a writer who progresses to someday write a book, or article, or something that really matters to somebody.

And you have to start somewhere. Right?

So, let’s move forward. I refuse to assume any pretended airs, but I do want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

Here I go, cleaning up my deformed first-born for his first public-appearance…

Wish me luck…

love brit

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