In a bid to flex my stagnant writing muscles, today I’m going to confess my deep, dark, author secret—
I’ve never read copies of my own published books.
I’ve held them, hugged them, and handed them out, but the last time I read both Cloaked and Sonder Village, it was on a computer screen to approve the final galley copy before publication.
At first, I think it was because by the time the books launched, I was so sick of editing them through for errors that I had them memorized. Then months passed and I still couldn’t crack the spines. Now years have gone by, and it’s been built up so much in my head that I’m too scared.
I was at a different place in my life and in my writing career with these books. I like to think I’ve grown enough to look back with fresh eyes, but I am afraid of the cringe. Writers tend to be a finicky lot. We chase perfection and are frustrated when our own works do not measure up to the authors we idolize. The story I remember writing is not the story that will appear on the pages. I don’t think my ego can handle the blow right now. Pitching my current project has been particularly heart-wrenching and I have little enough forward momentum as it is, so I’m not sure if looking backward is the answer. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough.
I’ve had enough space from high school to look back at these photos, at least! Here’s to celebrating how far we’ve come, and how much farther we must go.
Taylor (and Conor, W, and R)