January 1, 2012.
February 28, 2012.
December 17, 2012.
April 30, 2013
July 8, 2013
October 14, 2013
March 18, 2014
These were the seven most terrifying dates of my life.
These were the dates all seven of my books went live to the world.
I know it sounds crazy that this terrifies me, especially after going through it seven times. But it’s TERRIFYING. And exciting. And awful.
It’s not easy putting your heart and soul into something, and then when the curtain drops, the whole world is free to judge your creation. In most jobs I’ve had in the past, I felt fairly confident (if you don’t count the teaching gig.) In my most recent job, before I became a writer, I worked for the State of Texas. I would go to work each day and know what to expect. I would know when my paydays were, when my lunch breaks were, what time I got off work and I would know exactly what to do while I was there. And every few months, I’d be evaluated in an office behind a closed door.
“You’re doing good, but try to remember your shoes every day, Colleen.”
“You might want to work on your phone presence, Colleen. You shouldn’t answer calls with an Australian accent.”
“Stop Googling Harry Connick Jr, okay? Other than that, you’re doing great!”
And after those private evaluations, I could walk out of the office and tell my co-workers whatever I wanted, because evaluations were private. I could walk out of that office and say, “Crikey! Thet Sheila theenks aye hev tha beest accent evah!”
Yes, that’s the kind of job I used to have.
Now my job is unpredictable.
Now my job is unreliable.
Now my job has no timeclock. It never ends.
This job doesn’t give me a scheduled paycheck. This job only pays me if I write books that people actually want to read.
This job doesn’t give me private evaluations. This job posts publicly all the thoughts and evaluations of not only my boss, but every single person in the entire world who wants to give their opinion.
This job also keeps me up at night. Because as much as I don’t want to care about those opinions, I thrive on them. It’s what keeps me motivated. The things I read are what make me sit back, stare at my computer screen and think, “This isn’t just a job. This is a dream job.”
This job allows me the freedom to create characters and stories and bring them to life, and share those stories with people who want to laugh, or cry, or punch me in the end.
So yes, while each book release is equally as terrifying as the last, it’s only terrifying because I LOVE THIS JOB SO DAMN MUCH! It makes me nervous because I LOVE THIS JOB SO DAMN MUCH!
And in two days, I’ll be experiencing another one of the most terrifying days of my life.
August 5th, 2014
And believe me when I tell you, it’s the scariest one yet. Because I LOVE MILES SO DAMN MUCH!
So yeah. Thanks for this job, y’all. Thanks for supporting me through eight books in the past two and a half years.
And thanks in advance for the next several years, because until someone fires me, I’ll be doing whatever I can to create even more of the most terrifying days of my life.