Before I got my first publishing contract, I dreamed of the day I could call myself a bonafide “author”. I thought my life would be transformed. Transformed how, I wasn’t sure, but I’d walk down the street with a dignified air.
Of course, I got my first contract and I was like Samantha Baker on her 16th birthday. I looked in the mirror and nothing had changed. (And, I will note that the cream they say diminishes dark under-eye circles doesn’t work.) Sure, I was happy—thrilled—but the Tara remained the same. For instance, nowadays:
- I don’t wear tweed jackets with elbow patches.
- I don’t sit in Queen Anne chairs, sipping Darjeeling.
- My toilet doesn’t magically scrub under its rim.
- I haven’t taken up pipe smoking.
- I still don’t use words like “forthright” and “verisimilitude”.
- Joyce Carol Oates has not invited me to dinner. (But I’m only 45 minutes away, Ms. Oates!)
Nope. In fact, I still:
- Remain in my jammies for 2-3 days at a time.
- Drown my eggs in ketchup.
- Do a spot-on impression of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Elmo and Fozzie Bear—while I’m buying groceries.
- Have zero confidence in my writing at times.
- Fall into creative slumps.
- Wear my hair in pigtails.
- Question my significance after viewing Hubble images.
So, I’m here to say…if you haven’t gotten a publishing contract yet, don’t sweat it. You’re still an artist. You’re still a writer. Heck, you’re even an “author”. Life doesn’t really change when you sign on the dotted line. But…
…maybe it changes after the book is released?!