I was in a mood yesterday. Not a bad mood. More of a piss and vinegar mood. Joking around on FB, making up funny songs, whistling as I walked through the house. Something was going on and I wasn't quite sure what, but I wasn't going to question it. I mean, I was feeling pretty happy but I'm generally a happy person these days, so I didn't think it was just that.
Then last night it occurred to me. I felt like a rock I didn't know I had on my back had slipped off somewhere along the way. Ker-thunk. And I felt light. Like I could fly. All because I finally said 'enough'.
Enough of finely honing queries until my heart and my brain bleed.
Enough of sending submission materials out into a world of people I don't understand.
Enough of waiting for someone else to decide my fate.
Ten years. I was carrying that weight for ten years. It's like on Biggest Loser when it's far enough along in the season that the contestants have lost a lot of weight, and then they make them carry the equivalent amount up a big hill. You don't know how much that shit weighs you down until it's gone.
I told this revelation to Hubs, and he came over to hug me. He actually apologized because he never knew how much this was weighing on me. I hugged him back and told him it was okay because I didn't know the weight was there either. Only now that it's gone do I recognize exactly how heavy it was.
Oh, I realize there's a whole other set of obstacles out there. But now they're in my control. "Is this ready to publish, Ms. Sanderson?" "Well, yes, it is, Ms. Sanderson." "Do you like this cover art?" "Yes. Yes, I do." "And the editing?" "It's coming along nicely, thank you very much."
:twirls a little:
Even reader reviews are somewhat in my hands - because the reviews are reflective of my skills. If I get bad reviews, I can work harder to write better and affect a change. Sure, there will always be those people who give a bad review based on nothing, but I can ignore them (and hopefully my readers will ignore those, too.)
I can understand readers. I've been a reader since as early as I can remember. Real readers who are in it for the story and aren't worried whether they can cover a print run or how many books they'll have to pulp if this doesn't sell or if they'll make enough commission to feed their kids. Readers are my tribe, man. And since I know I don't like everything I've ever read, I can roll with that. Takes all kinds to make a tribe. I just want my books to be available so the people who might like what I write have a real chance to read it.
OMG, it feels so good to think I never have to crawl to some industry person again and beg them to please please please read my 10 pages.
Hubs keeps saying - when I least expect it, like when we were dropping off to sleep last night - "You're going to publish a book." And every time, I smile.
It's really a very freeing experience. And for now, anyway, I feel weightless.