1. You will do a lot of dancing
Pretty self-explanatory. Spontaneous dance parties are an important part of the celebration process. Suggested song for this: “You Make My Dreams” by Daryl & Oates or “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters.
2. You will justify all of your bad habits
Internal rationalization: “Pounding a soda every morning and over-indulging in mini-muffins indirectly contributed to the first book deal. Why mess with a good thing?” ::eats three more muffins::
3. You will discover that agents and editors are not scary people
In fact, they are funny people who love your writing. Who knew?
4. You will become a master of social media
Not only do you need to learn how tame all of these beasts—Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Blog, Website, Vlog, LiveJournal Groups—but more importantly, you need to learn how to X out of them and log your 2,000 words for the day
5. You will learn to make a website
And for the first couple of tries it will look awkward, like the girl who wore a blazer to the Homecoming Dance. Accept it. Revise it. Eat more muffins.
6. You will find new and creative things to stress about
Congratulations—you’re going to be published. Life is great. So what the eff do I stress about now? My radical suggestion: proactively seek things out to stress about. Get a bad haircut on purpose. Drop a few dishes. Worry about what eating all these muffins is doing to your waistline.
7. You will have an epiphany that you are still a dork
Sure, after high school, you cut your hair, resigned from your drama club presidency, started going to the gym, and put on 50 lbs—all of this camouflage to cover up your nerd-dom evaporates the moment you film your first vlog, or really, the moment you first use the word “Vlog.” Eat another muffin.
8. You now have expectations to live up to
The beauty of writing pre-publication is that nobody has to know that you’re new book isn’t as good as your last. But now, you have flash-forwards to someone reading your sequel and saying, “Eh, it wasn’t as good as the first.” Now you are competing to outdo yourself. The horrors (er, I mean, joys) of writing a sequel are worthy of a separate post.
9. You will discover that there are roving bands of other debut authors out there
Yes, once you emerge from your cocoon of celebration you will discover that there are hundreds of YA author dance parties going on around the country simultaneously. According to Publisher’s Marketplace, 410 YA deals alone went down in the last 12 months. These people band into rival gangs according to their book (in my case, The Elevensies), and then battle to the death in the streets. Oh, wait, am I confusing publishing with The Outsiders?
10. You will do more dancing.
Song suggestion: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley