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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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They Say as a Child I Appeared a Little Bit Wild

 

tumblr_m5agp4ws751rxiaoto1_500Someone recently asked me if I felt anxious about the book coming out because it is so personal. Get to know me. I’m anxious because it might not sell. I’m anxious because the New York Times might say mean things, or worse say nothing at all. I’m anxious because if I fail it’s not only in front of my friends and family, but the publishing profession where I work. I’m anxious because I’m not in therapy and I probably should be. I’m anxious because I don’t feel like myself, meaning I feel a little hopeful and that is just not part of the package.  I’m anxious because it’s all out of my hands now with the exception of boosting Facebook pages and going up and down Fifth avenue in the sandwich boards I’ve made with the Queen of Hearts on both sides.

What makes you anxious about getting your work out there? What’s your worst fear?

16 Responses

  1. My worst fear is that my writing actually sucks and then all the writers everywhere and all the editors and everyone who works in publishing thinks I basically just suck, as a writer AND as an agent. But no biggie, right?

  2. That everyone will secretly begin to pity me because they think the story I told is my story. It’s fiction – sort of. Of course we “write what we know,” and what we know we sometimes let slip into a moment of the book, here and there, bit by bit. There are some parallels, there are some truths. But it’s also embellished, and made up, and names have been changed to protect the innocent. It’s actually rather fucked up if I do say so myself. Which is GREAT!

  3. Photo shoot for jacket cover, my father reading anything I write, being hated, being loved, having to write more.

  4. I was able to get my first book published (fiction) with a small, unknown publisher. I am doing little to market it(Bookdaily email blasts), but this doesn’t bother me.

    I am writing my next book. My fear is that it book itself may not be as good as I want it to be(screw everyone else). In the mean time, I keep writing.

    I guess it helps that I have a day job.

  5. Never get my work out there in the first place.

  6. My worst fear?
    That after hundreds of bylines, spanning thirty years, I’ll never live long enough for a title page.
    Or, I’ll gain back the 100 lbs I lost four years ago.

  7. My biggest fear is that I’ll never get to see you walking down Fifth Avenue wearing those sandwich boards.

    And, there is no effing way this book will fail.

  8. I publish my fiction with a pen name in obscure lit. journals that no one in my circle reads. I also don’t talk about my writing very much because really, no one listens, no one cares.

    I love the sandwich board idea. Your book will make you proud, Betsy.

  9. I’m anxious that when it is done I could have done it better. (I’m not anxious about that sentence’s grammar, but rather gently concerned.)

  10. That it never gets out there. I can worry about all the other eleventy billion things later if it does.

    And I’m with Sherry, there is no way this book will fail.

  11. comma usage makes me nervous and i fear i’ll be judged for not using the oxford comma. i know what the stats are on first books and i’m okay with the fact that 300-500 people will read my book. right now i’m writing new material and it’s absolute crap.

  12. It concerns validation — My fear is writing about the tormented life and agonizing death of a tamed monster when seemingly all anyone is excited about are selfies, Kardashians, zombies, Trumps and apps.

  13. To be ignored. And for people to whisper out of earshot, “Bless her heart.”

  14. i keep thinking about this post. i love that you feel hopeful. there’s all sorts of irony going on there. and i want you to get therapy so you can enjoy this ride. xo

  15. “What makes you anxious about getting your work out there? What’s your worst fear?”

    That it won’t matter. Not even for a little while.

    A tree fell in the forest. It was sliced into ten thousand pages, each page filled with words. The pages blew down the street in a storm and collected in the gutters, muddy, wet, unread.

  16. Hi, Betsy ….

    Your blog has been keeping me alive these last several months since I got my book publishing deal with Jawbone Press last spring up through yesterday, when I made my first FB post regarding the May 3rd publishing date (in the US & UK) on my memoir: Seeing The Real You At Last (Life and Love on the Road with Bob Dylan).

    Sorry, I know you hate the add-on parentheticals on book titles – lol.

    Following your pre-publication struggles has been a godsend, so many thanks for that, and congratulations, btw.

    Here’s a couple of practical questions for the blog, if appropriate:

    Which pen do you recommend to sign autographs? Do you use colored ink? Do you date them? Any humorous or nightmare autograph signing scenarios to share?

    Thanks for being there.

    Best regards,

    Britta Lee Shain brittaleeshainbooksandmusic.com

    >

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