I slept Saturday night. As in, from 11:oo pm to 7:30 am. As in, not from 1:00 am to 5:30 am. On top of it, I slowed down Sunday morning. Sipped coffee slower, hit my cyberspace writing haunts slower, and consciously chose to take some deep breaths. It was frigid cold outside--a whopping 11 degrees--but sunlight was blasting through the window and landing on me in a warm, thick band. Eventually, my daughter came downstairs and we cuddled on the couch.
And in this calm, nothing but everything moment, it occurred to me: It has been about one month since I went into launch mode on Treehugger. It was around this time last month that I was in formatting / proof-checking hell. I thought that if I didn't get all the versions up for sale before Christmas Day, I was doomed. (I have since learned that wouldn't have been the case. Still, the paranoia served its purpose in getting the book out.)
A lot has happened since the launch. For those of you who have written books and published them either independently or traditionally, I wonder if your launch was a whirlwind, too. Perhaps it was the added rush of Christmas prep, but I couldn't have been completely in the moment, because when I remember the following events, they surprise me. I think I'm experiencing the true joy in them after the fact. But that's better than not at all. These are the types of moments you can look forward to you if you decide to publish (in no particular order):
1) Getting my first proof in the mail. I know I was anxious to pull the book from it's wrapper because I had been convinced that my inexperience in creating covers was going to result in funky colors or fuzzy images. Only it was perfect ... and I think that really shocked me. Apparently I was happy, though.
2) Hitting the "Publish" button to make Treehugger available for sale. All I remember is thinking, "Should I really do this? Is it really ready?" Then another voice took over, "Oh, shut up and hit the button already. Christmas is almost here. No time to think."
3) Showing the book to my parents. We toasted it with Baileys. Today, looking back, I've discovered I really treasure that day. It didn't seem real at the time, and during the holidays we were getting ready to go somewhere, so I squeezed in the debut between running here and there. I guess when you wait for an event for so long, when it happens, it has a dream-like quality.
4) Two of my friends ripping up paper napkins in a cafe and throwing it at me like confetti. Then they told the waiter about the book and he made a big deal, and then the owner came over and started talking book release party. I was embarrassed to death, but really, it has been one of the biggest highlights of this past month. Thank you, Helen and Norel! Your enthusiasm has meant more to me than I can express.
5) Giving my daughter the proof to take to school for silent reading time.
6) My first excited fan...and that was before she read it. Thank you, Mo!
For those considering writing and publishing, the learning curve is steep, and (depending on your lifestyle) pulling it all together can test your patience with the time the whole process demands. Still, it can be done ... it would just be nice to be more in the moment throughout the process and that endless rush to promote. Along with formatting covers, being in the moment is something I need to work on!