Within the week, St Mallory's Forever! will be hitting the world in ebook form. Within the next two days, I'm going to be begging my photographically-inclined friend to help me take my author picture, chew my nails over last-minute edits and do a lot of frightened running in circles.
Of course, I'm not bemoaning the process in the slightest - I'm having a fantastic time! The book is awesome, if I do say so myself - many of the jokes have provoked some very . . . surprising . . . noises from me. And half of my panic is due to the fact that this is it. I am going to be a proper author.
And it's hard, and I am worried and I am scared and, in my darkest moments, I've questioned the decision. I don't know if I'm ready. I don't know if I can do it.
I went on a run today, you know. I joined up with the "running club" for my Thursday afternoon sports activity. Being allergic to anything involving a stick and a ball, and deciding I'd rather be outside than cooped up in the gym, I pushed my reluctant (read: lazy) self out to the sports centre . . . only to discover I would be running alone. I'm a fairly strong, if not terribly speedy, runner, so it was just me and one of the staff, who would be doing a longer route to the others, who were all beginners.
I would like to point out that this member of staff seems to enjoy hills.
I do not.
There's a large hill to the south of my little Dorset village, with an old Bronze Age "castle" mound at the top. Up that hill we went, traffic roaring past on the right and a drop into a muddy field on the left.
The field looked incredibly inviting by about halfway up. My legs were sceaming, my lungs felt like they were filling up with marbles, and I don't even want to think about what my calf muscles would have said to me if they were capable of verbal communication.
It was hard, and I was worried and, in my darkest moment, I questioned the decision to sign up. I didn't know if I could do it.
And you know what? I did. I got up that hill, gasping and sweaty and cursing oxygen for its thin-ness. But I got up. And I kept going. I ran for the next half an hour, up another hill, across a busy junction, and all the way back up the stairs to my room.
And you know what? I'm not worried any more. Well, I am, but not in a silly way. I'm grouching at myself for my inability to write decent author biographies and my procrastination getting the better of me when it comes to doing some of the guest posts you lovely people have agreed to let me do.
But I believe in the book, and now I believe in myself too.
For a newbie, the publishing process is scary. It's technical, it's demanding, and you'll want to bludgeon yourself with all the errant commas you're running over.
But once you get up that hill and you can see the publication date in sight . . .
It'll all be worth it. I know it.
And, whether it be sooner or later, you guys will too. Trust me on that.
~ Charley R