We went to Great America on Monday and I've realized that I don't like roller coasters anymore. I'd loved them since I was a really little kid and first tall enough to ride. I always wanted to go on the biggest ones with the most flips. But maybe it's something with my age (I'm 36 now) but the thought of getting flipped upside down made my head hurt before I ever got near the ride. I did go on a few rides (small. Think pirate ship turning around type stuff) but even on those I had to keep my eyes closed. Luckily, with 4 kids there was always one who didn't want to go on a ride or one who was too short for it so I could keep taking that kid(s) and do smaller stuff while my husband had to do the big rides. :-)
Anyway, all the roller coaster stuff made me think about this career I have as an author. I've had lots of other jobs. Aside from all the random stuff I did as a young teen through graduating college, I've worked in technical support, was a technical writer for years, and an instructor at a university. All of these jobs were pretty stable. You knew what to expect from day to day. There weren't dramatic increases or decreases. My emotions weren't up one day and down another. With being an author there are A LOT of ups and downs. And twists. And flips. Just like a roller coaster.
You never know what's going to happen and each high is great and each low sucks. I've had times where I was notified hey, you were a bestseller this month! And I'm jumping up and down excited. Only to get a scathingly awful review from a major reviewer the next day. I've been given a national reward for one book and then had promo taken away for another book. I've sold foreign and film rights on one book and then gotten dozens of rejections on a different book. And the upside down flips are the worst. I've gotten close with sales a number of times-- revising several books for different editors (going up the big loop) who loved those books only to have something happen, like others on the review board turn it down, and the project gets passed on (coming back down the loop). It can be rough. It's definitely emotionally unlike any other job I've had.
I guess with time you get more used to the ups and downs and they don't bother you so much. Or maybe it's that I keep trying to flatten the track and not get quite so excited about the good stuff and not so devastated about the bad stuff.
I still don't like roller coasters but it's part of the job.
Kristina, Miss Author in Action