Ground control to The Better Mother

Ten days! Ten days!

People have been asking me how I feel about The Better Mother‘s imminent release and every time, it reminds that yes, indeedy, I do have a book coming out. See, my day-to-day life consists of diaper changes, walks to the playground and catching my son before he tumbles to the floor. Which means that my thoughts rarely hone in on books or writing or the literary world at all.

However, just the other day, my writing partner, Mary Novik, told me that there were already advance reviews of The Better Mother on Goodreads. And then I remembered: there will soon be reviews.

I don’t fear reviews exactly, but, like every writer, I know my novel has faults. Or more specifically, every book has its problems, and in each draft, the writer tries to solve those problems. In my case, I never really know if I’ve succeeded in doing that, or if I’ve just lessened the problem, or not fixed it at all. So when the spectre of reviews floats into my field of vision, I think of all those problems I worked at and worked at, and wonder if traces of the original crap still exist, or if I didn’t really excise the crap and was just deluding myself into thinking the book is better for all my tinkering. And then I worry that the reviewers will figure all of this out, and expose me for the sham writer I really am.

Basically, reviews (good or bad) make me question my entire authorial identity.

But when I feel paralyzed by anxiety, I just repeat to myself, It would be worse if no one reviewed your work at all. And besides, it’s nice to see the cover of your book in print somewhere.

Ten days. How will I survive the cycle of worry?

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