The whole process has me reflecting back on earlier decades in my writing life. When I was a young adult writer, my friends read my work. When I was an MFA student in my 30s, my teachers read my work. When I was fighting to break into the industry in my 40s, I often paid consultants to read my work. And now that I’m being published, I know that my editor at Kensington will be the final reader, but I have no idea who my first reader will be.
One of the biggest challenges of being a debut author is the multitasking. As a writermom, I’m already multitasking between paid work, parenting/domestic work, and writing. Now, I’m multitasking within my writer’s life: soon I’ll be copyediting one book while writing another and then getting ready to promote the first book, while also building the infrastructure for my writing career moving forward.
It’s challenging to operate in these different modes all at once. Particularly when–prior to getting a book deal–my entire writing life was sharpened to a laser-like focus on trying to get into the industry. Remembering the angst of those days, I feel like I’m just whining about my new high class problems. Yet, nowadays, I do feel like my life has a complexity it never had before.
And here’s the big difference: before, when I was trying to get in, I was afraid someone else would say no to me. Now, I worry that I’ll be the one who can’t hack it.
Thank goodness I have the women of the Debutante Ball to complain to as a sort of built in support group. Now, I just need that new first reader. I better add that to my never ending debut author to-do list.
Get readers for Book #2…