Evin comes out tomorrow.
And it all seems kind of unreal, even though the announcement is up on the publisher's website.
But I still don't quite believe it.
I'm essentially a ball of nerves doused in coffee even under the best of circumstances, so the prospect of this thing that I've created going out into the world has me feeling--well, feeling. Lots of things.
I'm excited. I've dreamed of being a "real author" ever since I figured out what an author was. This is the fruition of years of work learning the craft, piecing together the narrative, writing and rewriting. And this thing that I threw so much time and effort into has seen success. People who don't know me, who have never met me, have put their confidence in my work and are trying to get it in front of other people's eyes. I can't say that I'm not looking forward to adding published author to my list of accomplishments.
I'm also terrified. There is a part of me that is convinced that this is all a mistake. This part of me has been waiting for an email saying "Sorry, this was all a mistake" since I signed the contract back in May, waiting for something to indicate a loss of confidence from the publisher. And all of those nerves are nothing compared to the nightmare scenarios I've been imagining about readers.
It all comes back to one question I've been asking myself over and over: what if my book actually sucks?
I'm pretty proud of Evin. It's not perfect--no book is. It's not the best thing I could write now, but it was at the time that I wrote it. The handful of people that have already read it have reacted positively. And the publisher accepted it without asking for story changes.
But my imposter syndrome tends to shove all of that out of my mind. I convince myself that the book is going to fail. That I'll never be able to get anything I write taken seriously again.
There's no way for me to predict what will happen after Evin hits the figurative shelves tomorrow. It probably won't be as bad as I fear. It probably won't be as good as I hope. That I'll be a nervous mess through today and tomorrow is really the only thing that's guaranteed. But, if I make it through--and, if I'm being honest, I expect I will--then I plan to keep at it.
My first book comes out tomorrow. With any luck, it won't be my last.