Every time I call my dad this week, he asks, "Are you any smarter today?"
A funny way of putting it, I guess, when he's basically just asking for the latest news on my book.
I always say, "Yes, I'm smarter."
Boy, am I ever smarter.
Things I learned about the publishing process so far, things I will tell myself if I am lucky enough to ever have this happen again:
On celebrating the sale of your book: Consider your health, please, for the love of God, please think about your poor body and what will happen if you march yourself over to Barnes and Noble and order a huge Pumpkin Spice latte. The combination of adrenaline over your amazing news and the gigantic dose of caffeine will have you shaking like a leaf within twenty minutes. Eyes like roadmaps of Georgia within an hour or two. Finding previously undiscovered patterns in the plaster on your ceiling at three o'clock in the morning.
Then, when you continue your celebration the next night by enjoying a heavy Italian dinner and two glasses of chianti plus a glass of champagne at the end of the evening, you will suffer. You will remember that you don't drink. That you typically go straight from fine to sick. You will feel like crap when you are supposed to be feeling great.
Just say no, dear.
On the passage of time: Time moves differently for you and the publisher. When a publishing house says that they want to publish your book fast, this does not mean fast in your time, but fast in publishing time. As in Winter 2011. Which seems like a long way off. Take back what you said in the previous post about your book being on the shelf in a year. But, you will quickly learn, fast in publishing time also means FAST. As in "you need to have a polished draft to your lovely editor for the first round of editorial revisions by November the 6th, 2009." As in "final draft due January 11." As in "quick, we need your ideas for the book's cover in the next twenty minutes so we can present them in a meeting."
Roll with it, C.
On your priorities: Remember that you have a family. People who count on you to think about them once in a while. If you forget this and spend a week floating on Cloud 9, your head in your book all day, talking about nothing but your book, your book, your freaking book and how exciting and terrifying and crazy your all-important book is, they will inevitably revolt. Your husband will get that glazed look in his eyes whenever you open your mouth. Your kid will resort to jamming play dough into his ears.
It's a pretty steep learning curve.