Friday, September 5, 2008

Trust me, Freaking Out is Completely Normal

Tip of the Day: Writing buddies aren’t just great for critiques, they provide that shoulder, that ear, or that chocolate, just when you need it. Yay for writing buddies!

Earlier this week, I finished the final pass on the pages for my upcoming book, FAR FROM YOU. It was my last chance to make minor changes to text and the display of text. The publisher sent me the pages printed out from those made into the Advanced Review Copy - the pages that were made after the copy edits were done.

With I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, I had a little freak-out when the ARCs arrived. I suddenly realized people were going to actually read my words and OMG, what if people didn’t LIKE my words?

This time, the freak-out occurred as I read over these pages, and thought, this is my LAST CHANCE. I have to get it RIGHT! The freak-out was different from the last time, too, in that I had specific concerns, not just general feelings of anxiety. I would tell you those concerns, except then, you might read the book with those concerns in mind and that may affect your response to the book. Maybe I’ll talk about them someday, after the book’s been out awhile. But not now.

Anyway, could I do anything about those concerns this late in the game as far as the book goes? No, not really. Well, I did change a few words, trying to soften something I was concerned about. But mostly, I just had to step back, freak out to friends who would understand and tell me it’d be okay, and tell myself it’d be okay.

When you’re writing the book, I think you are there, in the character’s head, and you try really hard to be true to the character and the story. After you’ve been away for awhile and come back to it, suddenly you think, now why did I do that, exactly? Am I sure that’s the right thing? It’s so easy to second guess yourself. I had to tell myself, my editor has read it multiple times. I’ve read it multiple times. It is what it is. We’ve done the best we can, and will we please everyone? Of course not. I just hope the book does find people who enjoy Ali’s story.

I know author freak-outs are normal. I’ve heard other authors talk about them. Still, it’s not much fun when having one. Oh well. I got through it! I sent the changes to my editor. I’m done. The book is done! Four months from tomorrow, January 6, 2009, my second novel baby will be born. 

I guess I better start practicing my breathing, although I really hope it's not painful!!

~Lisa, Miss Pinch Me I'm Pubbed


Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

I totally get this vibe, even though I'm still waiting for publication. First, the idea that holy cow, other people might actually read this—is that really what I wanted?! What if they don't like it?

Yep...I get that.

And the whole, "what was I thinking here...why did I have the MC do that?" I recently revamped an old ms after 2 years of waiting in the dust. I was shocked! I still loved her, but I became sadly apparent how much work she really needed. But I think I'll always find matter what draft I'm on.

Freak out and celebrate your normalness!

Kate Fall said...

Yes, and celebrate another milestone in your career! Congratulations! I can't wait to read this one.

Emily Marshall said...

Yes, I freakouts have to be normal. How could you not freakout in this business?

But I know the novel will be wonderful!!!!! I'm so excited to read it.