Paranormalcy has been out for just under two months now. Four phenomenal authors loved it enough to blurb it. It got great reviews from Kirkus and SLJ and a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. It's either for sale or will be in eleven other languages/countries. I went on a national book tour and got to meet some of the coolest readers ever.
And yet, when Gayle Forman visited my blog yesterday, I got all embarrassed. "Oh my gosh! A New York Times bestselling author came to my blog and saw what I wrote about her book! I probably looked like a huge dork. She probably thinks I'm a weirdo."
Then I thought, wait a second. I'm a New York Times bestselling author. She probably didn't mind what I wrote.
Which left me wondering when I will feel like I'm there. When I will feel legit. Maybe it's a throwback to high school, where I was just barely cool enough for the cool kids to acknowledge my existence* but not cool enough for them to actually care that I existed.
I still don't feel like a cool kid. Most of the time I feel like a huge dork, like all of the publishing stuff has happened to someone else and I'm the same lonely mom with a computer and a weird brain. I still worry about my next book, whether or not my publisher will like it and want to buy it. I worry about how readers will react to Supernaturally, and I flat out panic about writing the third book and finishing my journey with Evie.
I'll tell you right now, all the stuff that comes with publishing and happens or doesn't happen and seems like it would make all the difference in the world? It's great. Really! I get all weird giddy when I think about the amazing things that have happened for me and this book I love.
But in the end, you're still the same person. You still write by yourself and laugh out loud at your own jokes, and get down in the dumps when you feel like it's not working or when you haven't had enough time or creative energy to do anything new. You still alternate between feeling like a freaking genius and wondering why on earth you think you have anything worthwhile to say.
In the end, there isn't enough validation in the world to making writing worthwhile if you don't love doing it. There is no magical point where suddenly you've made it and you're one of the cool kids and you don't have to worry about anything ever again. Or at least if there is, the cool kids haven't told me about it yet.** In fact, I suspect that the cool kids don't even exist, or, if they do, they don't realize they are the cool kids.
Me? I'm okay being a slightly neurotic dork who tells stories to herself and writes them down. People seem to like my stories a lot, which is enough for me. And besides which, I may be a dork but I'm a New York Times Bestselling Dork.
Now there's a title for my business cards...
*When there was no one cooler in the room or when they needed help with English homework.
**Probably because they no longer have homework they need help with.