Trace goes on sale this Saturday, and I’ve been making lists.
I have a template, of sorts, for the sales post that goes up, but I also have to make sure that the website gets updated, Lulu.com actually has the book publicly available, I make a post here so that it gets tweeted, and nothing goes terribly wrong.
Fear of Things Going Terribly Wrong is a neurosis that is not peculiar only to writers and theatre professionals, but it’s abnormally common among our kind. I think they fall at opposite ends of a single spectrum, the Going Terribly Wrong spectrum.
Writers know that once they’ve sent the last draft of the manuscript off, the next time they’ll see their book will be in a print run — where any errors, once committed, are committed eternally. Granted, if I find a typo I can fix it before my next patron pays for the book, but I didn’t grow up with that concept; it’s a totally new one and will never properly take root in my generation.
Actors and designers, on the other hand, work in the ephemeral, and have to rebuild everything flawlessly every night. In the moment, there’s nothing more humiliating and tragic than effing it up onstage.
One of the nice things about blogging is that my journal is basically a chronicle of Things Going Terribly Wrong, because as Charles Schultz says, “Happiness isn’t interesting”. Not that all I do is complain, but more entries than not are about the unexpected. Usually the unexpected and mildly disastrous. It has taught me to be at home not just with these things in real life, but especially so online. Messed up a link? Ah, crap, well, let me go fix it. Borked my code? I’m just giving people an opportunity to use their critical HTML coding skills!
You get the idea, anyway. I’m fortunate to be something of a walking disaster, I suppose.
At any rate, I’ve learned to live with it, but I still feel the fear of Things Going Terribly Wrong. I just have to remind myself I can proofread all I want, but nobody’s perfetc.
(I totally didn’t think of this until after I’d posted, but “Things Go Terribly Wrong” would be an awesome title for a book. If you’re looking for inspiration to write, this is my gift to you.)