I am overwhelmingly grateful for my book deal. It definitely ranks up there among the Best Things that Have Ever Happened to Me, along with being born to awesome parents and meeting Hot Stuff. So, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into just how much my life has changed since I got my deal. I'll use last Thursday as an example, even though I don't get Big German Book Deals every day. (Personally, I think all mornings should start with a phone call about German book deal offers, but that's just me.)
1:00 AM--Collapse, exhausted, into bed after scratching out another 1200 words. Fall immediately asleep, only to be awoken at
1:30 AM--and accompany bawling Dojo to his room, because heaven forbid he wake up in the middle of the night to find me IN MY OWN BED. The horrors. The horrors. I am the worst mom ever for not sitting awake all night in his room.
3:30 AM--Wake up aching, sweaty, and cramped from falling asleep in the rocking chair while waiting for Dojo to fall asleep.
3:30 AM--Collapse, yet again, into bed.
6:30 AM--Weep tears of exhaustion as my kids come and demand I wake up. Except not really, because tears are futile in the face of their FEED ME NOW demands.
7:00 AM--Pretend to sleep on the couch and spin sweet dreams of a well-rested fantasy life. Finally get up and sneak into the kitchen to write a blog post before Dojo screams at me to come and watch Up with him for the five thousandth time.
8:00 AM--Answer the phone as I wrestle with Nayna to get her hair brushed. Find out about an incredible foreign rights deal. Laugh.
8:15 AM--Laugh some more as I pack daughter's lunch.
8:45 AM--Laugh some more.
9:10 AM--Panic as I realize that all of the laughing and dancing leaves me with ten minutes to dress myself and both kids before Nayna needs to be at school.
9:28 AM--Pull into school parking lot just in time, parking my tiny, ten-year-old Kia amidst the Lexuses, Buicks, and BMWs. Consider possible ways to work in my German book deal to conversations, but have only talked to the women next to me twice. No appropriate segue besides, "Hey, little Jonathon looks adorable today bythewayIamgoingtobepublishedinGermany. Do you know anything about the assembly tomorrow?" Decide I ought to have a shirt made, instead.
9:45 AM--Grocery store run for the two items that we inevitably run out of during the week.
10:00 AM--Home with Dojo, starting three hours of pretending like I might be able to write something, but actually just being dragged around by my All-Powerful and Rather Short Overlord. 34 lbs of pure whiny bossiness, that one.
11:00 AM--Finally get a hold of Hot Stuff to tell him about the deal. He's at work and all that ends up getting through is "Deal" and "Germany." He is forced to hang up, unsure whether I was talking about foreign rights or WW2 treaties.
12:00 PM--Realize I never got a chance to shower.
1:00 PM--Pick up Nayna from school.
1:30 PM to 6:00 PM--Count down until Hot Stuff comes home. Actually manage to communicate what happened to him. "Wow. Really, that's amazing. Wow." My thoughts exactly.
6:00 PM--Rush kids into car to go and pick Hot Stuff up from train station. Wish we had more than one car.
6:40 PM--Get home, throw something frozen together for dinner, listen to the kids whine about how they don't like it. At least Dojo didn't throw up again.
7:30 PM--Sit in the rocking chair until Dojo falls asleep.
8:30 PM--Stumble out of Dojo's room, having fallen asleep waiting. Again.
8:30 PM to 11:45 PM--Try to scratch out another chapter. Fail. Miserably.
12:00 AM--Collapse into bed, knowing it'll all start again the next day. But at least I have Germany...
So. Yeah. Did you notice that nowhere did the words flow magically from my fingertips? Turns out even when you have a book deal, writing is still hard, and finding time to write is even harder. And your kids still misbehave, even if you have a book deal (I know! What are they thinking??), and you still have to run errands, and you still have to clean (wait a second, you're thinking, there was nothing about cleaning, to which I respond, shut up, I don't want to talk about it), and you still make crappy dinners that no one, including yourself, wants to eat.
In short, while I think about my book deal constantly and always get warm fuzzies at the thought of my book being a BOOK in the not-too-distant future, life hasn't actually changed that much. It's like my wise friend Natalie said: Don't wait for something out of your control to happen in order to be happy. Start being happy now. Because those things that change your life forever? Well, your life is still your life afterward. It's just your life plus a husband, or a baby, or a book deal, or a chinchilla. (If, however, all you are waiting for to make your life complete is a chinchilla, by all means go buy one today!)
Life in all its monotonies is an awesome thing, and I'm grateful every single day for mine--but next book deal I'm totally holding out for a clause that states I never have to clean again. Now THAT would be life-changing.