2. What if people I know think the characters in my book are based on them? Does that mean they’re vain or that I’m about to lose all my friends?
3. What if the reviews are resoundingly bad? My first review has just come out and it’s not too bad – apart from the reviewer likening my book to The Bride Stripped Bare. If you read my post Books I love, books I hate, you’ll know why I’m not happy about the comparison.
4. What if my book gets nominated for one of those awful ‘Worst Sex Scene’ type competitions? Or perhaps I should just be happy if it gets that much attention.
5. What if I’m that writer at a Writers’ Festival who sits, lonely and waiting at a table for someone to produce my book for signing whilst the authors on either side of me are struggling with writers’ cramp in a bid to keep up with queues of adoring fans wanting their autographs?
6. What if I go into a bookshop and can’t find my book? I could be optimistic and imagine that they’ve sold out – I wish! – but I expect that pessimism will take over and I’ll convince myself that they didn’t like it enough to stock it in the first place.
7. What if I’m about to do an Author Talk or speak at a Writers’ Festival and, just as I step on to the stage, I realise I haven’t got a copy of my book to read from? The other day I went to work with my shirt on inside out so who knows what I might do while I’m still in the stupor of twice a night baby feeding.
8. What if – and I’ve heard other writers warn about this – I speak at an event about a scene in the book only to remember later that the scene was cut in the editing phase and nobody at the event had a clue what I was talking about?
9. What if people are just ambivalent about my book? Of course I want everyone to love it but I’d prefer someone to hate it – then at least I know I’ve aroused some passion in them – than to feel nothing.
10. What if I forget about points 1-9 and think instead about how good it will feel the first time I walk into a bookshop and see my book on a shelf waiting for someone to take it home. Yes, that’s better …