Where did the time go?
T minus 4 days
Pals, I do not know what happened to this week. After a long period of not really having much going on I suddenly find myself slammed. I picked up a new part-time gig last month that takes me to the Upper East Side of Manhattan twice a week, and between that, my other PA gig, and picking up shifts at the coffee shop across the street from my house I find myself here on Friday, publishing a book in four days and feeling as though I don’t have a lot of time to get everything done.
I feel as though I’m doing almost every aspect of this process wrong—I haven’t even managed to post anything on my author website yet! Still, we’re inching closer to pub day, and I’m pretty excited to have the book out there in the world. I’m proofing the ebook file now, and have been alternating all morning between wild embarrassment at my own audacity and thinking “Hey, this isn’t that bad.”
In some ways, being so busy has left me with very little time for these moments of self-doubt. It’s hard to wallow when you’re on your feet, serving oat lattes and pastries to what feels like half of Brooklyn. Sometimes I think back to the Jen Udden of three years ago, when I was still an agent and wouldn’t have been coming home smelling like coffee and spilled milk. Was that Jen Udden happier? Would she look at the Jen Udden of 2023, wearing crocs and covered in coffee gunge and think, ew?
Increasingly I think the answer is no. I am significantly poorer than I was three years ago— let me tell you, $15 an hour is not a lot, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a chump—but I think I am much happier. My time is less my own than ever and yet I don’t mind so much. Being able to work on these writing projects has brought me a sense of almost uncanny joy. Even though it’s hard work, even though there is absolutely no guarantee of return on any of it, it’s been so fulfilling. I feel very, very lucky.
What’s even crazier is that when I went to check my preorder numbers this morning, thirty-nine of you have preordered Marrying In. Thirty-nine! And only like ten of those are from family! That nearly forty of you have spent your own money on this makes me incandescently happy—thank you so, so much!
There’ll be a few more bits of book news down in Housekeeping, but I’m going to stop here for today. I still have to finish proofreading the book, and I have a shift at 1pm. Thank you to everyone who has been on this ride with me—I promise I’ll go back to regularly scheduled nonsense soon.
WHAT I’M READING
I’ve got a few things on the go, but mostly I’m really enjoying Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner’s memoir. I’ve also picked up my enormous omnibus edition of the Gormenghast books, which I’ve had on my shelf for years and never read for some reason. The first, Titus Groan, is a little hard going, but it’s weird in the most delightful way. I’m going to stick with it but it may take me a while!
Marrying In is now available for preorder on Nook, as well as on Kindle! In the next couple of days I’ll have it up on Kobo and iBooks as well. On pub day, Tuesday April 11, I’ll be sending out a special edition of AFN with an excerpt from the book. Next Friday, April 14th, I’ll be going live on Instagram to talk about it and celebrate (Time TBD.)
As always, you can hire me for editing services on Reedsy.
THIS WEEK IN HOCKEY
The Capitals have been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in nine seasons, which is a bummer. Their last game, against the Habs, was a miserable 6-2 blowout. I’m expecting an extremely depressing summer full of trades, where all my favorite infants will be sent away from their friends.
This has been A Faster No, a dispatch on publishing, writing, books, and beyond. Is there something you’d like me to talk about? Leave it in the comments or reply to the email! You can support the newsletter here. If you purchase a book from any of the links to Bookshop.org I get a small commission at no cost to you. I am available for developmental editing and editorial assessment services via Reedsy.