I wanted to do some thoughtful post about my debut year and maybe list some advice for those who will debut in the future. That sounds like the right kind of post for a day so close to the end of 2013. But as I've been trying to think about what to say, it was all coming off false for me.
Because when it comes to debuting, the thing is you will read a TON of advice…
…and you will ignore most of it.
Every author will tell you to avoid reading reviews, and you will still look at reviews. Every author will tell you not to check your Amazon rank, and you will still take a look. Every author will tell you to write the next book, and you will still struggle to do it because there is a new kind of pressure you have to deal with.
You'll be warned about how crazy you'll get two months prior to release, how every person you know will ask "how's your book doing?", how submissions will still be terrifying, how it'll be hard not to compare yourself to every other author who's getting more or less than you—and you probably won't quite get it or believe it until it happens. And even if you do believe it, you'll experience it in an entirely personal way.
It's like any big life change. You can study and prepare and plan to your heart's content, but that's not the same as actually experiencing it. There are some things you can't predict, and one of those is how you'll react to it all. You just have to go through it, plain and simple.
So I guess today I don't want to offer advice to those debuting in 2014 or even after that. What I want to offer you is a big hug, a few cupcakes, and a very sincere "Yes, I know it's hard, but you'll be okay."
Because it's scary. It's new. It's wonderful. All rolled into one.
You are allowed to feel how you feel, and only you will be able to work through all the ups and downs that come with debuting. There will be days when you get burned and days where jealousy will rule and days when you feel like you can fly it's so wonderful. So hang in there, and remember your dream is coming true, even if it sometimes doesn't look so much like a dream. That's just what it is, only it's become a reality now.