Surprise! A second blog post from me in two weeks!
But yes, it's exactly what it says on the tin: Bitter Medicine's publishing date has been pushed back to March 14, 2023. Suffice it to say that I have a lot of emotions about this and I'm doing my very best to put a positive spin on it, but I was born a pessimist and learned how to be a realist and optimism grates on me, so it may be a while before I truly believe that the bright side is the bright side (in my personal relationship, I am the grumpy and the husband is the sunshine).
The reasons for the push are not mine to articulate in this blog post. What I would like to articulate are some of my feelings regarding the process, because what is a blog but a public processing of feelings? I'm upset, of course. I'm angry and frustrated and extremely disappointed. I'm not patient by nature. It's Aries season; I'm an Aries. I'm an Aries sun and an Aries moon and by the grace of god, I am not an Aries rising. Patience has never come naturally to me. Knowing that I have to wait a year from now before this book is out of my hands has a huge negative impact on me.
And patience is something you need in droves in publishing. The book is slated now for early 2023. I turned in my copy edits for it in late 2021. Publishing is a lot of silence, followed by a lot of scrambling, followed by more silence. But patience sometimes feels to me like swallowing food I haven't finished chewing, food that hurts going down and makes you wonder whether it'll get stuck in the esophagus.
I hope I have enough patience for the next year.
I said up above that optimism grates on me. Hope is a filthy liar, after all. But optimism is necessary in publishing as well, though I hesitate to call it optimism. There's nothing else ahead of you in this business but the next book. Nothing but your own words is within your control. I have another work in progress; I have multiple ideas sitting and marinating right now. Is it optimism to write the next book, or is it dogged determination? I don't have to write stories. I have other things I can do. But I made a decision to keep going and keep challenging myself, which is why there is a next book.
What the publishing delay does, however, is influence when this book can go to editors. (There's that patience again.) I believe in Key & Vale (most of the time). I want to get it out there, I want to stick the landing, I want it out of my hair, I want to move on to RED ENVELOPE HUSBAND. I've already queued up Netflix with Taiwanese dramas for research purposes. But with this delay, I have to reshuffle my timeline. I'm a life planner by nature. I usually have a plan for the next month, the next half year, the next year, the next five years. The fact that publishing is so wildly out of my control but has an outsized impact on my personal life gets me agitated. Agitated. And that's just one more thing I have to square as I go through processing what this delay means.
Earlier this year I was trying to learn how to let go, how not to have feelings about publishing. It's really not possible to be emotionless about it, and maybe I am trying to let go of the wrong things or trying not to have feelings about the wrong things. Maybe I should be learning how to not be a control freak, or talking to my therapist about potentially outsized reactions to things messing with a schedule I set, which is a result of childhood trauma. Whatever happens, all this shit is messy, the future is shifting, the ground is falling away from rock to sand, and all we can do is find new footing. Sometimes while crying.
Mia is a musician, teacher, writer, editor, and occasional photographer whose formal education is in music, psychology, and pedagogy. She enjoys reading a lot, thinking while on long drives, finding songs for each moment, and snoozing with her cat.