— Emily Kitchin (@EmilyKitchin) March 9, 2017
When the above announcement went out in BookBrunch and on Twitter, I was unprepared for exactly how I would feel.
I had signed the contract a few weeks before, keeping the deal as close to my chest as a locket with a secret inside. A few close relatives and friends new and that was it. Until Emily’s announcement on Twitter, it was something very few people knew about.
After the announcement from Hodder and the subsequent tweets from my agent and a Facebook post by myself, the news was well and truly out. It was good just to be able to talk about it, I told myself. It was good not to have to keep a secret anymore. What I didn’t expect, however, was how I felt afterwards.
Emotional, for starters. Each new comment on Facebook or Twitter, each new congratulatory email I was sent, or card I received in the post, bought a lump to the base of my throat. Like I had swallowed a hunk of cake with such greedy rapidity I hadn’t paused to chew (which, of course, I would never do. Not ever. (OK, maybe once or twice)).
The relief. I didn’t have to keep it secret anymore! I can tell the world! I can shout it from the rooftops!
Relief, again. The submission process, that nail biting, obsessive email-checking period is over, for now. I can sit back and bask in the glow of the deal.
This was the last to set in, wearing the stealth-like cloak of anxiety. Everyone knows, now. Everyone will be watching. I am not just a mother anymore, not just a friend, a cake baker, a Take That enthusiast, an avid reader. Everyone knows who I really am. A writer. My mask is off, I am left stripped bare in the world I clothed myself from.
This last feeling is the one I am working on the most, acknowledging the panic and stress so it can flood through my system and out again, leaving me with the euphoria of reality.
A reality which still seems too beautifully dreamlike to be real.
But it is.
OH, MY GOD!!!!!!!!!