My book has been out in the world for over a month. I’ve been writing on this blog for nearly a year. It’s seemed interminable and lightning-fast all at once. And now, here we are at the end.
Or is it the beginning? That’s the main thing I’ve learned during my debut year: we put so much importance on our first books, counting down until launch day and obsessing over initial sales figures, but a publishing career is a long game. I have so many more books in me, so many more milestones I want to achieve. Temper is just the beginning.
So right now, as I stand on the threshold between Shiny New Debut and Regular Old Published Author, I’m concentrating on the following:
- Cultivating gratitude for what I’ve accomplished so far. It’s easy to get swept up in all the stressors of the publishing industry, but I try to remind myself as often as possible: I wrote a freaking book! And people are reading it! That’s amazing!!
- Improving my systems and routines, so I can work in a sustainable way instead of burning out. I abandoned a lot of my Type A productivity processes during the most hectic parts of my debut year, and I suffered for it. My to-do list keeps me sane, and I’ll never forsake it again.
- Building my community, both of authors who’ve been around the block a few times, and up-and-comers I can help out now that I know at least some of the ropes. If you’re a writer, please believe me that you need writer friends around you. This can be such an isolating, crazy-making business, do not go it alone!!
- And finally: remembering why I started writing in the first place. Writing under contract is different than writing on your own schedule, and looming deadlines can make it hard to maintain that sense of fun and play that writing has when you first start out as a total amateur with no expectations. But getting paid to do what you love is a privilege, and even if it’s not fun all the time, it sure is fulfilling.
Thank you so much to everyone who’s read this blog over the past year, and to Kai, Devi, Stephanie, and Martine for going on this journey with me! Our year as Debs may be over, but we’re all just getting started, and I can’t wait to see where we go next.