Monthly Archives: September 2012

Almost There

The book is almost ready. I’m on the final proofread now. It’s almost to the point where there’s nothing else for me to fiddle with, nothing else I can do to delay putting it out there. (I’m reminded of a certain scene from the same book… but said scene is also very spoilery, so you’ll just have to wait to see why 😛 )

I feel like I should be writing one of those excited posts with all the exclamation points. I’m excited enough for that, I really am. But that tone always sounds fake on me when I try to use it. I would feel like an impostor if I tried. Just like I can’t make cursing sound genuine, I don’t think I can squee with verisimilitude, no matter how bouncy I might feel.

But I am that excited. Excited and… kind of stunned, really. Yes, I’m publishing it myself, and so when it comes out is almost entirely under my control, but that doesn’t make it feel any less surreal. This is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me – or maybe it’s more like a lifelong assumption. Some people talk about when they decided to become writers; it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t. And yes, you’re a writer whether you’re published or not – but it’s different when you’re published, when your book is out there for strangers to buy and read just like any other book. My book is going to be a real book, and I honestly don’t know how to process that. I don’t know whether to dance around the room like a crazy person or just stand there blinking in disbelief.

And I am scared to death.

Not for the reasons I had expected. I had thought that as I got closer to publication, I would feel more uncertain about publishing it myself, more regretful about what I’m giving up. Instead, the opposite is true – I’m only becoming more sure that this is the right thing for me to do. I had thought I would be worried that the book isn’t ready yet, and while it’s impossible to avoid that worry completely, at this point I mostly feel like the mom whose kid won’t move out. Yes, Becca, I love you, but you and your story need to stop taking up space in my mind and go do something constructive in the world.

I’m scared because publishing a book will mean I’m a writer again.

I never stopped being a writer, not really. But right now I can dance around it in my mind; I can assure the part of me that never wants to write again that I’m just doing a little editing, just playing around a bit with a story idea, that’s all. Putting a book out there, though… that makes it public. It makes it official. I can’t turn back after that.

But…

I’m ready.

I know this is what I want to do. I know the book isn’t going to get any more ready than it is now. And I know with deep-down dispassionate certainty that the time is right.

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

The Little Things

A couple of years ago, a friend mentioned to me that when he got married, changing his Facebook status almost made it feel more real than signing the official documents did.

I thought back to that last night, when I told Microsoft Word to start using curly quotes.

Several years ago now, when I was first starting to think about getting published, I was researching manuscript format and learned that if you’re going to be submitting manuscripts online, you need to turn off curly quotes in Word. Otherwise the formatting could go wonky on the agent/editor’s end. I dutifully told Word to stop using them, and I haven’t seen a curly quote in any of my manuscripts for years.

But I’m not submitting anywhere now. And the things I’ve read about ebook formatting say that you should make sure curly quotes are turned on, so that they appear in your final book.

So I turned them on. Because that’s what I’m doing now. I’m not trying to get published; I’m creating ebooks. It took about thirty seconds to change the setting… but it felt surprisingly momentous.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make something feel the most real.