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On Letting Go

As of Sunday morning, Accounting for It All is… done. Like, done done.

Done as in I’ll never touch the manuscript again.

No, I’m not giving up on a project; on the contrary, my little book baby is (almost) all grown up! As we speak, it’s being formatted for eBook and print, and will, soon enough, be turned into advance reader copies (ARCs).

One might think sending off my final copy of the manuscript was a moment of pure bliss: here it is, my first book child on the eve of publication, primed to land in the hands of readers everywhere.

As it turns out, clicking SEND on that email was actually much more bittersweet than I anticipated. Why?

Aside from general anxiety surrounding somehow undiscovered typos and the eternal possibility of additional opportunities to further sharpen voice and rhythm, I’m also now gripped with an uneasiness anchored in whether the book will be well received—whether the world at large will enjoy it as much as my beta readers seemed to back when it was in its earliest drafts, or whether it will live up to its premise, which always seems to have people engaged.

In other words: for the first time since the idea for the book struck me, its contents are completely out of my hands.

And it’s time to let go.

It’s time to let go of it as something I can coddle, something I can keep close to the chest, something I can shield from those who I might be embarrassed to know read it. Instead it’s time instead to embrace what this book might now go on to become in the eyes of others.

Put another way, it’s time to pack this book a lunch, tie up its shoes, and let the bus take it off to book school where it can hang out with all the other book children, and I promise  I’m totally not going to take a million pictures and give it a million hugs on the morning of its first day of school.*

I can’t predict what will become of my firstborn book baby after it takes its first wobbly steps up onto the bus, but I like to think I raised it right, or at least as well as I was prepared to raise it with what knowledge and experience I had at the time.

So… *sighs, wipes tears, puts on brave face for the kiddo*. The big day is soon—like, November 19th soon. It’s time for this bookdad to let go and let his bookchild shine.


*I totally am, though.

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