My dining companion was topless. She hadn’t been before I glanced around the restaurant, but when I looked back, she was feeding her baby. She’d put on a privacy blanket, but I could see in from the side. She shrugged when I told her. “Second kid,” she said. “I don’t care anymore what people think.”
The Pyramid Waltz, http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Pyramid-Waltz%2C-The-%252d-by–Barbara-Ann-Wright my first book, felt like that. New baby: worry, pamper, buy all the latest gizmos to help raise it up right. Obsess over it, hardly leaving the house.
With the second, yeah, not so much. The excitement lives on; it’s the worry that gets left at the door. With my first book, I was excited, sure, but I was a wreck inside. There was a frantic quality to my feelings, the urge to cry resting right under the surface, a fear so great it kept me up with cramps at night.
I had gotten published, my ultimate goal, but now what? Expectations. How’s it selling? What are you doing next? How far do you intend to go? Questions coming from others but also from inside. I’d been dealing with rejection for a long time. I was used to the brain weasels telling me I’d never succeed. I’d more or less put them to bed. These were new weasels, bigger and more ferocious yet more insidious. Now that I was published, they said, it would prove that I was a failure. I’d written a book, I’d tricked someone into publishing me, and now someone would read it and see what a fraud I was. No one would buy it, my rating online would be negative stars, and the only people following my twitter feed would be trolls. I’d probably end up hooked on meth, living under a bridge, and holding “conferences” for bags of leaves that I called friends.
Enter book two, For Want of a Fiend. http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=For-Want-of-a-Fiend-%252d-by-Barbara-Ann-Wright Suck it, brain weasels.
I’m phenomenally happy with my success so far. I’m being invited to speak at various functions, and I’m pretty sure that those inviting me aren’t leaf bags. The excitement is still there, but that franticness, the oh-shit-what-if-I-screw-this-whole-thing-up feeling is gone. What happens after the book is polished is out of my hands, just like no amount of gadgetry is going to determine what kind of adult a baby will be. Sometimes, you just have to sit back and let it happen, and the guy at the next booth at Chili’s might see your goods. I never knew that could be so freeing.