Give me five seconds to scream into the void.
And now I'm back. Thank you for waiting.
Writing books is fun. Going to college is fun. Taking care of a dozen boisterous middle schoolers is somewhat fun. But doing all three at once? I'm running up and down a flight of stairs every half hour to check on my science experiment, I have a book cover to retouch, I have to be at work in three hours, I have church this evening. I had church yesterday evening, too. At least I had Monday off. I was too busy eating ribs and swimming with friends to post a blog, so you have my heartiest apologies for that.
But, on a cheerier note, I got my first look at Where I Stand yesterday.
The proof came in the mail. I got to stroke the matte cover, smell the soy-based ink, thumb through the pages. And see all the little things wrong with it.
Most things I don't necessarily care about. Drawing something? I'll lose interest in half an hour, so whatever I do in that time is going to be the finished product. Writing a sign for something? The letters aren't the same size. Good enough. But when I'm writing a book? Everything had better be perfect or I won't be able to live with myself.
I stopped school early yesterday and nit-picked the cover design. I spent most of the morning with Microsoft Paint zoomed in at 800%, manipulating every single pixel until it was satisfactory. And then I showed a picture of my failed proof to a co-worker, and she smiled.
"You're upset because there's a little bit of orange on the spine? It's not that big a deal."
Maybe you're right. But that was just the cover. Now, I have to go through every page and take note of every missed comma, confusing phrase, and instance of incorrect formatting.
When you're a writer, you're not just a writer. You're a graphic designer, editor, salesman, and expert in thermonuclear astrophysics. And a historian. Sometimes also a costume designer, stunt choreographer, and accent coach. Writing itself turns you into a perfectionistic, overthinking, and occasionally sadistic human being.
I might wear a thousand and one hats. Not all of them fit right. But by golly, I'm going to balance them all and enjoy it.
Now, dear readers, I have a special opportunity for you. If you have enjoyed reading Where the Clouds Catch Fire, or amused yourself by stopping by my blog twice a week, you might be interested in a free copy of Where I Stand. And I'll give you one. The only thing you have to do is drop by Amazon on September 14 and leave a review. It doesn't have to be a thesis on symbolism and hidden meaning. Even a sentence or two, along with four or five stars, would be awesome. And I can't thank you enough. Comment below to get your free copy! God bless you, dear readers!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.