A quote I give my writing students is from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: “Publication is not all it’s cracked up to be, but writing is.”
Odd how easy it is to preach without experiencing the punch of reality. I got a copy of my memoir yesterday from the publisher and my first reaction was not, look at this: years of hard work brought to fruition. My first reaction–while my husband Les told me how proud I must be–was visceral. I felt sick to my stomach. What kind of egotist was I to write my little story and expect people to pay good money to read it? What kind of sadist was I to tell family secrets about people too dead to respond?
I feel better this morning. Les pointed out that it’s not my story–it’s the story of a terrible time in the south, which I happened to live through.
But I wonder? Do other writers feel this way? Does the big day arrive with a thud?