Dear Me on April 3, 2017,
Tomorrow your first book will be available for sale. Go you, kiddo. You'll get flowers from Christa, and Sloane will drive you all over town from B&N to B&N so you can sign all the paperbacks in Austin. Your writer friends will text and tweet congratulations. Your family will take you out for dinner and pretend you're famous. The whole experience will be a blur of wonder, a party, the sweet fruit of years of hope and work and passion.
Don't look at rankings. Don't look at reviews. Don't think about the next day or the next book or the next anything. Just enjoy the moment. Enjoy the people who make the moment happen.
And when you wake up Wednesday morning, keep on not looking, not at any of it. Because guess what? Nothing will have changed. You'll still be a nobody in the giant soup of writerly folk. You'll still have to work, to struggle, to hope, to fail. You will still have exactly what you had going into this: some amazing and supportive friends and family and a spark that makes you want to tell stories.
Basically what I'm saying is that the debut changes nothing. It's neither an ending nor a beginning -- you've been writing a long time, and it's not like you're going to stop anytime soon. The debut -- the day, the year, the book -- is a nice marker on a longer, bigger, more complicated path.
Enjoy what you can, and keep your expectations to a minimum.
And most of all, just write the next damn book.
So much love,
Me of 2018
p.s. -- Did you guys see that Jeffe Kennedy has a new book out this week? And Marshall Ryan Maresca had one come out last week. SFF Seven is killing it, people. Both are fantasy writers, and I think we could all use a bit of escape from the real world right now.