What does it feel like to get published? I don’t really know. I mean I have been published by small press places before, but I haven’t had a book published by a big boy publishing house. What does it feel like? I’m ’bout to find out in just a month, when D.I.Y. Magic launches on April 7th.
What’s weird is I still, in my mind, self identify as an “aspiring-writer”. I guess when you spend years in one mode it is hard to change. (I had a rich Aunt who had survived the Great Depression, even though she was loaded she hoarded food in her pantry: onions, beans, oats, etc.) For many years I dreamed of writing a book that would land me an agent and a big name publisher. I dreamed of being able to support myself with my writing and quit my day job. But now that has happened it still feels like a dream! It is hard to believe, even though it’s been about a year since I signed my book deal with Penguin Random House.
I haven’t gone to a day job in a year, I’ve just been writing. Sure, it has been fucking amazing. No doubt. But what’s also surprising is how easy it is to get accustomed to this. To just think of it as a job which has it’s struggles, it’s pitfalls, it’s ups and downs. Which is human nature. They say that people who win the lottery experience just a few months of joy and then go right back to their normal baseline of emotions. How sad is that?! No matter how fortunate we might be, we get used to it and take it for granted after a little while. It’s called hedonic adaptation.
I often think about this same thing in the context of life itself. How good it is to be alive, how lucky we are! And how easy it is to forget that feeling, and think the world is boring because you are used to it. When that happens we stop daydreaming because we think we know what to expect. That creates a rut, because you get what you expect. I’ll tell you a secret—you must nourish your daydreams because they are the soil from which the future grows.
I was telling a friend the other day— in my wildest daydreams about the writing life this is about as far as I ever got: quitting my dumb day job and getting a book published. I have no idea what happens next because I have outpaced my wildest dreams. All I know now is: I got to keep dreaming.