While I was chatting with the wonderful and inspiring Sara Zarr the other day — that’s us with William Shatner, who was one of the more interesting cardboard cutouts I’ve ever spoken to — I made a confession: I don’t celebrate release days. I know I’m supposed to, but by the time the book comes out, I’m already thinking several projects ahead. I’m thinking only in terms of getting books into readers’ hands. I’m barely thinking of the release at all.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate anything. For instance, I sent the final draft of ELEMENTAL to my editor yesterday. I love this book, and am enormously proud of it. There’ll be a lot of copyediting, as usual, but I’ll celebrate that too, because it means I’m honing in on the finished book. And as for the cover . . . whoa! I can’t share it yet, but let’s just say it’s freaking amazing. In my mind, the book is already coming together. And that is something I can truly celebrate: the pursuit of the dream is every bit as compelling for me as the realization of it.
All of which reminds me of something many talented authors have told me: enjoy the ride. As long as these intermediate goals (first draft, final draft, copyediting, receipt of cover) are cause for celebration, I’ll be a happy camper a lot of the time. The same goes for all writers. Books are as much about the journey as the destination. Make it a pleasant one.
Sara Zarr wrote about this kind of thing herself–and far more articulately–in case you want to see.
On a different note:
* Today I’m guest blogging at Eating YA Books about my history as a reader. No, I didn’t read very much when I was a teen. Now you’ll find out why.
* Two new fantasy novels MUST be added to your wish list ASAP: ASHFALL by Mike Mullin is a captivating story of a boy struggling to reach his parents in the aftermath of a supervolcano eruption. It’s almost unbearably tense, and so real. LEGEND by Marie Lu doesn’t come out until next week, but it’s a dystopian novel about two 15-year-olds on opposite sides of a war. The pacing is breakneck, and the plot twists and turns so much you just can’t put it down. I loved them both.