I was very excited last week after ordering my proof copy. The final step seemed like it was finally getting closer.
But I was also slightly terrified. I have seen my writing published before and have always greeted it was a mixture of humiliation and disappointment.
Reading my own writing on the computer or on home-printed pages is very different. It is undeniably homemade and because of that, it is easy to think that it is okay. But published? Suddenly it is in the same format as every book I read, and I read a lot of very good books. Seeing my own work in a format comparable to my favourite authors does not help an already shaky self-confidence.
So last week I was preparing to be disappointed. I was scared that I would open the proof copy and want to tear out pages. Throw it in the bin. Forget the whole idea because really, who am I to think I can do this?
But I had a plan. The copy was supposed to arrive on Friday. So Friday evening I would go for a swim and arrive home feeling endorphin-fueled and ready for a weekend of whatever would come.
I walked through the door on Thursday night though, and there was an undeniably book-shaped package on the floor. Damn Amazon’s super efficient service! What to do? I was slightly hungover and running on not enough sleep. I was not in good shape to confront what I was sure would be the horror within.
I briefly thought I could ignore it but really, who was I kidding?
First I checked the formatting, refusing to actually read anything. The formatting looked good, which it should do after last weekend’s hours of frustration. Slightly too small a font but that is easily changed.
With a cup of tea, I sat to read the first page. Then the next and the next until I had read the whole prologue. Oh, I thought, that actually wasn’t too bad. I read it again. I made one small change. I read it again. And I grinned! It wasn’t terrible. And I thought, maybe I can do this.
So one more weekend of reading it, of making small changes, of resubmitting it, and then that will be that. This time next week, I plan to be throwing my hands in the air and declaring it over.