I forked over a manuscript to the Powers That Be in late January, and have found myself NOT on deadline for the first time in well over a year. Know what that makes me?
An anxious, miserable person.
I can't get over what a wreck I am. It's ridiculous. I should be kicking back and refilling the creative well. Instead, I find myself with no attention span and an inability to properly digest food. What the what?
You know, one of the problems with living the dream is the concurrent and looming presence of eminent failure. The irony is that I just completed a blog post for this weekend's WriteOnCon about the importance of writing for writing's sake rather than for the sake of publishing, and yet here I am, whinging about how THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is going to be received as my publication date approaches. Bad Megan!
This is when I need my inner librarian most. One of the great things about being a librarian is having the evangelical belief that we do not judge stories, nor do we judge people by the stories they crave. I've been a public librarian for well over ten years, and in all that time, the best conversation I ever had with an adult patron about a book was with a woman who loved FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY. Look, I have to admit, I have no desire to read FIFTY SHADES, but the enthusiasm the patron shared with me concerning that particular title filled me with joy. She kept hitting the reference desk, saying, "Girl. Girl! You have got. To read. This. Book!" It made my day. That's how people should talk about the books they love, no matter what other people think to the contrary. I'd probably find FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY a hot mess, but I refuse to judge anyone who loves it. That's Librarian Power.
THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is already making its way in the world as an ARC, and as more and more people read it, more and more thoughts and opinions will surface. Like any book, some people will love it, and some people will hate it. It will resonate with a few, offend others, and bore the pants off many, many more. And all of those responses are valid. As your friendly, neighborhood librarian, I will defend to the death your right to think of the book what you will. This is my solemn vow, and, strangely, I find comfort in it.
In the meantime, I'd better get cracking on the next book, because this non-deadline anxiety stinks.