Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Me and the Crowd


This is my inaugural post on YA Outside the Lines, so I should probably introduce myself before I dive right in. My name is Kimberly Sabatini and I’m the debut author of TOUCHING THE SURFACE, which is out this fall.  


This is me--in case you'd like to know who you're talking too.  

Our topic for the month is relationships and how they influence our writing. Hmmmm...


I recently received my very first ARC evah!!! Sorry about the picture--I'd just come home from a run and found my book on my doorstep--which explains the stinky look I'm sporting. I was so excited, I didn't care that I was going to plaster my sweaty mug all over the world wide web. I was holding my book for the very first time.

Now I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with relationships and writing.  Well, once the novelty of holding my book wore off.  (okay--I lied--it hasn't worn off yet.) But once I stopped jumping up and down and petting it all the time, I started to realize what this would mean.  

OMG!!!! REALLY SOON OTHER PEOPLE WOULD BE READING MY BOOK!!!!!

I am about to embark on a relationship like no other. An intimate/not-so-intimate date with a crowd. My book will no longer be my own and my future books will never again be written with the same innocence and anonymity that occurred with my first.  Thinking about it makes me tingly with excitement, while simultaneously wanting to barf into a paper bag. Do you know how hard it is to write the second book when you're as excited as a five year old the night before Christmas and as nervous as a kid who hears a thump in a dark room and doesn't have a nightlight? Yeah, it's intimidating.

I can still count on my toes the number of people who have read SURFACE in ARC form, but already I have what feels like a stadium full of readers watching my fingers pound against the keys as I write my work-in progress. 



I'm struggling to keep my inner compass pointed in the "write" direction. I'm attempting to think of these "Peeping Tom's" as cheerleaders rather than my judge and jury. I try to stay focused on that future teen who will read my words and finds something of themselves tucked between the pages.  And I'm constantly reminding myself that it's okay if there are people who don't like what I've written.  Heck, I don't like everything that other people have written--even people I like. *head thunk*

As I'm exploring this new relationship that influences my writing, I know I'll have days where I navigate it well, but I'm also aware that sometimes I'll be a puddle on the floor and the only cure will be a big bowl of chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, Hershey's syrup, walnuts AND a voodoo doll.  



But like all new endeavors, I'm optimistic. I'm a glass-half-full kind of a girl. Besides, I've already discovered the most important thing I need to know about having a relationship with my readers and I learned it from the very first reader I ever had--me. 

In order to be able to have relationships that weather all opinions, I must write with honesty--soul exposing honesty. When I did that with Surface, I learned to love myself--all of myself--the good parts and the bad parts. This is bigger, scarier than my own personal growth, and knowing what to do and doing it are two very different things, but when I ask myself if I'd go back--return to the days when my writing was private--I know I never would. You can't change the world by talking to yourself. And I'll admit it--I want to change the world. It's on my bucket list.

So, I'd like to welcome you into my office, my head, my heart, my soul--bring a friend.  I'm learning to say, "Go Big or Go Home."  We don't have to always agree--relationships can weather differences--but if you could tread lightly, I sure would appreciate it because I haven't found the perfect voodoo doll just yet. 


What's your vice for handling heart thumping, hand sweating, exciting, scary relationships?   






15 comments:

  1. Welcome, Kim! I have to say it's a thrilling and scary ride getting that first book out. But thanks to the blogosphere, I've forged some incredible relationships with my readers--the kind of relationship I never really thought I'd have, as a writer. Being connected to my readers is one of the absolute best parts of being a published author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am looking forward to that part most of all. I think a piece of me has been dreaming about it since I've been a kid. So good to know that they are as incredible as I imagine, <3 Thanks for the warm welcome.

      Delete
    2. Just wait till you get that first fan letter!

      Delete
  2. YAY Kimmie! I'm not quite in the same zone as you yet, but I've already been wrestling with those feelings. There's a certain privacy and safety in being a work-in-progress because you have an excuse for those bad hair days. But once you're published, Those eyes that looked at you with joyous anticipation my be looking at you with a whole different kind of expectation. I just put my head down and nurture my characters so they can give me the support I need. Some kick-ass music doesn't hurt, either! I hit those play lists hard some days.

    Congratulations on TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I can't wait to get my copy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love you Mary Ann--you've been an inspiration to me since I met you at Rutgers and I'm completely resigned to 4/5 days being bad hair days LOL!

      Delete
  3. Mmmm...I think I'll just go with your vice for now. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Making big plans to indulge in that vice tonight LOL!

      Delete
  4. I love this post! All so, so true. I love the line, "You can't change the world by talking to yourself." I think that's the greatest wish of authors (children's authors, especially). That our characters will change lives. SO, congrat's to you, Kim, for making a difference! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Lynda and I agree-when I was typing it, it just resonated with me. <3

      Delete
  5. In some ways, knowing a book will be likely to have an audience is an incentive. In other ways, it can be inhibiting, as you say. I find it helpful to think of the imaginary audience as made up entirely of those people who loved and understood the first book, who "get" what you're doing as a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great idea--because at the end of the day--that's who you're writing for anyway. Love that!

      Delete
  6. Welcome and congratulations, Kim! Nothing tops the feeling of holding your first novel for the very first time. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome to the blog, Kim! And yes, there really is nothing like receiving that first ARC! The relationship with a wider audience definitely does make me feel exactly as you described, sometimes I'm cool with it, sometimes I feel like a puddle. Jennifer Hubbard's advice is great though and seriously there is nothing better than connecting with readers who care as intensely about your story and characters as you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stephanie. I agree, Jenn gives good advice. :o) Overall I'm pretty darn excited!!!

      Delete