It seems like such a long time ago when Seven Days was a finished manuscript sitting in front of an editor in a major publishing house. Surely it was a lifetime ago when I was offered my two book deal, accepting it in a state of shock whilst walking the kids back from school? I remember feeling so weird, so shocked that my dream was going to come true. A dream I'd had since I was five years old.
And now I'm here. 7 Days has been published and it's cover still shines at me from my bookcase. I'm so proud, I'm dazed and I still feel so shocked that my dream has come true. But there are some other things I've realised about being published, things that I'd never realised pre-deal.
These are things I wish I'd known in advance.
1) Checking the Amazon ranking is not good for you. The numbers go up and down and all over the place, hence it sends your brain in a whirl. It's best to avoid.
2) The same goes with Goodreads. Great site, but possibly not ideal when you're feeling fragile.
3) Realising that the big book stores may not stock you, or only some might. You might face the disappointment of walking in a local bookshop and uttering the words "have you got....?" The dream of having your book EVERYWHERE is quickly dashed.
4) Comparing yourself to other authors is bad, bad, bad. Float in your own safe bubble and try not to fret about who is going where or doing what.
5) Putting up with to people asking you how well your book is doing and not really having a clue.
6) Having to get used to various addictions as you keep yourself busy on social networks. I currently munch Jelly Beans whilst trailing through Twitter - my waistband is expanding so quickly, three people have asked me 'when's it due?'
7) Having to get used to fluctuating mood swings - euphoria, calm, worry and panic (ok, this might just be me...)
8) Having a bad back, arms and neck (see my last ABBA post)
But what I've also realised is that the writing community is wonderfully supportive. People appreciate what you are going through and will help you through any difficult period, even if it's just a jelly bean shortage.
I've also realised that I need to remind myself constantly how bloody lucky I am to be here. I wish for it to continue.