Good Lord, where do I start on this week's topic? 2009 has been the craziest, most fulfilling, nerve-racking and emotional year of my life. And I have learned some lessons along the way--and a couple I'm still trying to embrace. Here's a few:
Enjoy it. If you would've told me in January to make sure I sat back and relished some of the ride, I would've probably laughed. I guess I would compare it to people telling you to enjoy planning a wedding or being pregnant. It's so easy to get caught up in the details--the stuff that you feel like you "should" be doing, that you nearly have to force yourself to sit down and enjoy the scenery once in awhile. Truth is, I miss a bit of the wide-eyed, innocent perspective I had before my book launched. So, if you can, try to stop the forward motion for a few moments and soak in the good stuff.
Do as much as you can without going insane. I mean this in terms of promotion. Focus on what you enjoy doing--blog interviews, book signings, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and forget about the rest. It's so, so easy to get sucked into trying to promote your book everywhere and it usually only ends up burning you out. Sure, this might mean cutting back on a few things, but in the end, your sanity is worth it.
Let go. This is the most difficult lesson--one that I'm still trying to learn. At some point, you have to move on from your book and focus on the next one. Many authors publish a book a year, which leaves a very small window after one book is released before they need to focus on the next one. To be honest, I've just started to switch over into giving Not Ready for Mom Jeans my attention and it feels a bit like...cheating. Which is ridiculous, since the front list supports the back list and all of that. But still. It's hard to let your baby go and think about the next one. I guess it's kind of like having a second child--you know it'll be great and fun, but don't want your first baby to feel neglected.