Two days ago I finished the last edit of Swarm. A friend of mine asked me what exactly that means, because it seems like over the past few years I’ve several times said, I’m done!, only to dive back in again…

But this time is different. For the past month and a half I’ve been working with a Brindle & Glass editor, sending a scribbled (as ‘scribbled’ as MS Word track changes can be) manuscript back and forth. On Wednesday, we cleared the last of those notes off the pages and I did what I’ve been waiting several years to do.

I wrote the dedication and the acknowledgements.

Don’t you feel terrific? someone asked. Well… yes, of course, and no.

Because what happens now is all the fear. I’m dating myself here but do you remember that time that Sally Fields went up to the Oscar’s podium and gushed, You like me! You really, really like me!?

Isn’t that what every artist is looking for?

And aren’t we all terrified that we’re. not. going. to. get. it. That you’ll hate the book, that you’ll judge me, that I’ll become known in the small town I live in and the bigger town I just moved from as being the writer who wrote that book about terrorists…

Yep.

(By the by, Swarm is also about discovering love, the yearning to be a mother, and coming to terms with bad choices…).

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few days, and to tell you truth, I wasn’t going to write about it. But then Angie Abdou, who posed for the 2014 Bare It For Books Calendar, wrote eloquently about her own experience dealing with the anxiety that comes with the exposure of publication.

Her story made me remember that every writer (every artist) feels this way. That it’s perfectly normal. That it’s just another part of the job…