I submitted my novel to print today. It began with light butterflies, they danced merrily in circles, completely manageable and dismissible, I brushed them off. I went through the printers submission check list, 1-15 all good…(gulp)…I think. In that moment it all halted like a freight train crashing into a mountain. Wham! In an instant the butterflies turned into razor-winged devil creatures zipping about my stomach in a panicked state. I started to second guess myself. I started to second guess EVERYTHING.
Did I get the right CMYK build of black for every single item? Did my darn bar code work? Did my dedication make sense? Did I get the contact info perfect? The list went on and on and on. Was it perfect? Oh Geeze, I suddenly needed another week to comb over everything one last time (Even though I had already done that a kazillion times). Oh! and my spine was my spine the correct size? If the book overlaps on the spine I’ll just die, and then die again and then probably one more time before I face the epic fail of having an overlapped spine!
I was freaking out, losing it, I think the term is bazerk.
The urge to push the submit button was SO BAD, it would end the misery.
I wanted to see the little upload bar grow to 100% DUNZO. Instead, I just stared at it with the urge to lose my lunch. I see now why some people choose not to self-publish and I mean the REAL self-publishers that do every freaking bit of it on their own. It’s hard, really hard, and if your a perfectionist like me then it’s even harder.
Oh someone just punch me in the stomach to kill these razor-demon butterflies so I can focus. Deep breath – slooooow exhale.
I tried channeling my inner ‘calm’. I remember my dads words in college when I called crying about some horrible Statistics class I was suffering through. I thought at the time, it was the end of the world. I thought my entire worth in life resided on the grade I got and that I’d be a failure if I didn’t get the right grade. My dads words still resonate “What is the worse thing that can happen?” He asked. “Well obviously I fail the class, it destroys my GPA and I have to take it over again, what could possibly be worse than that?” I sniffled through gasps and tears. “So what,” was his response. Those two words are still magical to me today.
Yes, sounds good and all, but there is a large price tag that comes with publishing so submitting anything less than p-e-r-f-e-c-t would be inexcusable. Deep sigh, as the mother in me surfaced and my inner-wise woke up.
As with anything in life; your order at dinner, relationships, career choices, the bizarre outfit I wore today, hind-site is 20/20. It’s really hard to be perfect, you just have to be as good as you can be – complete with all the mess ups, and that’s life…so what.
All this being said, TODAY I submitted The Dove: Book One of the Legend to print. It happened. I let it go. I was freaking out, not because anything was wrong with the files, they are fine, I have been obsessing over them for months now. The truth was I think part of me was terrified to see it go, it was so FINAL. I actually hit the submit button and watched it fly off to the printer in Grand Rapids, MI. In 3.5 weeks I will have paperbacks in my hand, in all their inky glory. It’s the end of that chapter and on to book two, The EAGLE.
A small celebration but I am overjoyed with excitement. I went home and had a glass of champagne, here it is.
I’d be lying if I said it was the only one:)
To anyone out there having a hard go, nerves getting the best of you, afraid to let something go, or if you feel like the world is ending, you might stop and ask yourself what’s the worse thing that can happen. Chances are the worse thing really isn’t that bad. Failing, having to start over, having a typo or an overlapped spine … so what 🙂 your only human. Cheers Casey