There are only 4 months left until Modern Persuasion is published. I am dealing with a whole new set of emotions and anxieties. Some I anticipated, but there are quite a few I did not expect at all.
I have passed through the phase where I worry what will happen if people don’t like the book and story. I have been lucky to have beta-readers who gave me the encouragement I needed. I have read other books that make me feel that I am still growing as a writer. I have resolved that this is the first thing I have published, not the last. The editing process is a learning experience in a different way than the writing experience is.
For the past few weeks I have been dealing with a different extreme: what if they like it!?
On the surface, it is fantastic that people could potentially love my novel. The dream is to have it be widely popular. The validation and excitement of this would certainly be positive. I would be thrilled to have a positive response. In my head it energizes me and keeps me focused on the other novels in the pipeline. There is no disturbance to my real life.
The issue that is causing anxiety is what expectation this creates for future novels. Writing Modern Persuasion was a unique writing experience for me. I am use to thinking things through deeply, living with my characters, imagining the details of scenes like a movie, and falling in love with characters. I am use to thinking of things that happen before, after, or outside the story. It often results in me telling too much that isn’t relevant.
Modern Persuasion was nothing like that. It was conceived of and written within 2-3 months. It was edited and submitted to a publisher quickly. I didn’t have time to get obsessed with unimportant details of the story. Oh, I know my characters and I love them, but that happened as I wrote them rather than before I ever sat down to write. What if Modern Persuasion is the best thing I have ever written and the others suck?
Keep calm? Sometimes it’s easier, but sometimes it’s not…