So here’s what I know so far about life after book deal:
You still have to go to work the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And guess what? Every other day after that, too. But that won’t stop everyone at your law firm from asking you when you’re quitting. In fact, for the next two weeks or so that might be the most common question you get. Not when is your book coming out? What’s it about? No, it’s: ”Hey, [New Author], when are you getting out of here?” Or the more assertive, “You’re quitting, right”? Then, of course, there is the always awkward effort of trying to sound sincere about something that you are actually sincere about when you tell them, no, no, I’m staying. Swear. And they are all like, “You can totally tell me,” winkwinknudgenudge. And you feel kind of lame because maybe your life hasn’t changed that much. Which leads me to the second part…
Some people will think your book deal is a bigger deal than it is. And some people will think it’s less of a big deal than it is.
First, the people that think it’s a way bigger deal than it is. These folks are closely related to the people that think you’re quitting your day job. These people are confused because they think the fact that my YA book sold means I’m the new J.K. Rowling or, at worst, Stephanie Meyers and I just happen to be lurking among them. They say I’m going to be famous! And that they’ll have to save my phone number before I forget them! And they’ll say they knew me back when! And! And! I have to laugh nervously and pretend they’re joking because despite my assurances that I will continue to be there–second office on the left–they are convinced that I’m getting ready to spring my new found fame on them at any moment. (I like to imagine this unfurling like an episode of Undercover Boss personally…) But alas. Le sigh. I just hope they know something that I don’t.
Then there is the second set of people. These are the people that I’m close to and I am so excited to tell and I’m all ZOMGIGOTABOOKDEAL and there all like, “Oh yeah? Well, I turned 28 1/2 two weeks ago.” And I’m like, I’m sorry, is that an accomplishment? Isn’t that, basically inevitable????? (And didn’t we celebrate your 28 1/2 birthday two weeks ago!?) And then the conversation is over and we have to continue about the awesome oatmeal recipe they learned to make and I try to force myself not to try to steer the conversation back because let’s face it, this news will clearly be lost on them even upon a second effort.
Then of course, there are also the people that respond to the news of the book deal with how they should just go out and get a book deal for themselves. And I want to tear my hair out because I didn’t go, like, get my book deal on Aisle 7 at the grocery store. And for some reason the logic seems to be, oh well, if YOU can get a book deal, then it must be easy and, hello, I’m philosophically offended, because, hey, the aura of getting a book deal should not have gone down because *I* achieved it. The aura of me should go up, dammit. I can do hard things, too, you know.
There is waiting involved. (Isn’t there always?) And so it’s best to have something to work on in the meantime. Luckily I do.
Work will get busy at inconvenient times.
You will worry it’s not real.
You will go to the bookstore to see where your book will sit on shelves to remind yourself that it is.