This has been a busy month, bookwise. I’ve just turned in the copyedits – hooray! And the flap copy is just about ready to go. It’s almost another year before the book comes out – April 2013 – but publication feels more real with every passing month.

And that means I’m having to re-learn a central truth of the author’s life: While it’s a joyful thing to have a book published, it’s a scary one, too. And I suspect there’s no cure for that, since part of what makes it so joyful (people will read my book!) is also what makes it so scary (people will read my book!).

Already I’m having to do some fancy mental gymnastics to keep myself in a good place for writing book two. I’m all too capable of lugging a thousand potential critics in my head as I write. Readers, reviews, editor, author, family… it can feel like they’re all looking over my shoulder as I type.

So I’m thinking a lot about these lines***:

Dance like no one’s watching.
Sing like no one’s listening.

And I’m adding one more:

Write like no one’s in the room.

Sign on a staircase at Magdalen College, Oxford

***The net credits the lines to Mark Twain, William Purkey, and Aurora Greenway, but that’s the net for you. Whoever wrote them, I think they’re great.