Reactions to a First Book Contract: Joy and Fear

excited-clip-art-652608I signed my first book contract one month ago for Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives! I am super excited!

My first reaction upon reading my agent’s “we got an offer!” email was joy – I squealed at my desk, did a little dance, called my husband, and we went to dinner to celebrate. What I wasn’t expecting was my second reaction: fear.

I had read blog posts by authors and agents talking about experiencing fear in their writing career and that never made sense to me. When your biggest writing fear is that no one beyond your immediate circle will ever read your work, it’s hard to imagine that post contract, your biggest writing fear will be that many people beyond your immediate circle will read your work!

nervous-woman-cartoonIs it fear of rejection? In a wide world, there will be people who don’t like my book. Fear of criticism? Critique will be offered whether I solicit it or not. Fear of success? My life will change, but I don’t know how much. Fear of letting down my publisher? It’s a group effort now. Fear of the unknown?

This fear is not all bad. It’s kind of a good fear – a nervous fear – a fear that inspires an author to do her best. The fear just needs to be counterbalanced with joy: joy in sharing my work, joy in writing and holding my book in my hand (It’s still sinking in that I get to do that! Yippee!), joy in not knowing exactly where my writing career is headed, but knowing that God is with me and knows the outcome. And joy in my original audience, my family and friends, the people who will continue to love me no matter what happens with the book. Both the fear and the joy drive me to pray and persevere. Look out world; here I come!

“”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”” Jeremiah 29:11