In the wee small hours of the morning, I sent my final edits of Brave in Heart to the folks at Crimson. There’s one more copyedit stage, but that’s only for egregious, but minor, problems — typos, spelling errors, and so on.
Once I hit “send,” I sighed and smiled. I recognized that the feeling flooding my limbs had a name. Relief. And I enjoyed it for about twenty seconds before gasping panic expelled it from my body.
You mean this book I started writing a year ago doesn’t get to change again…ever? You mean that I’m stuck with these words in this order for the rest of time?
But, but, maybe I did want to put that “that” back in? Maybe the dialogue could use more — or fewer — speaker tags? Maybe I need more internal monologues? What about all the deleted scenes? Maybe there’s something good in there? Will that material never see the light of day?
This is it — my debut book. And it’s done? This is the book that will convince people to read — or not — all my other books. Holy closet full of sneakers. And now it’s out of my hands?
I’m not sure how to turn off the fear and the doubts and the second guesses. Or rather, I know, but I’m not quite ready to do it.
I don’t think of my texts as my babies. Perhaps because I tend to have a lot of projects in various cooking stages at once, I don’t feel intense attachment and defensiveness about any one of them. I can take a fairly intense critique. I don’t think bad reviews will hurt too much as long as they aren’t personal. While I love this book, I’m aware of it’s weaknesses.
At the same time, I’ve never had a fiction project be over before. As in done. As in fixed. As in captured in amber.
So while I know that I need to get back to the other books I’m writing — not to mention my still-unfinished dissertation! — I’m going to be over here hyperventilating for another minute.