Anxiety Monkeys

I’ve been writing these articles for a long time as an unpublished writer, because other than several short stories I’ve sold to magazines, that’s what I am.

But that’s about to change. I recently signed a contract with a traditional publisher for my first book. I’m thrilled. I’m excited. And my anxiety monkeys are climbing the tree.

All the information from speakers at chapter meetings about publishing and marketing, all the tips and advice from author friends about social media and book signings, all the knowledge from workshops and classes about Amazon rankings and keywords and online statistics, had been filed away in my mental “do not need yet” file because…I hadn’t needed it yet. I’d been focusing all my brain power on what was necessary at the time: writing a book, entering contests, writing a synopsis, creating a pitch, getting an agent.

Now I need to learn all the things I know I don’t know. And I think what’s making me breathe into a paper bag is that I don’t even know what I don’t yet know.

What will revisions from an editor be like? What will publicity involve? Will I really have to face a room of people for a book signing (raise your hand if you’re an introvert)? Worse, will I have to face an empty room for a book signing? Will anyone buy my book? Will they read it? Will they like it? And these are only a few of the questions I can think of. I’m sure my anxiety monkeys will come up with some doozies as time goes on.

And in the midst of all the anxiety, I’m still thrilled. I’m still excited. And I can’t wait to find out what’s next on my journey as a, gasp, published author. (Repeat after me: Revisions will be fun. Revisions will be fun. Holy crap, pass the tequila. Revisions will be fun.)

I think I’m gonna need a bigger tree.

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