How do I feel?

For the past two weeks, since a certain book was released, the question I've been asked most frequently is, "How do you feel?"

I have an auto-reply (which I verbalize) and the honest reply (which I don't verbalize, but which I secretly think).

Here's the auto-reply:

"I feel amazing!"

Here's the honest reply:

"I feel _____ ."

I left it blank because the honest reply changes every day. No, scratch that, it changes every minute.

In the past two weeks, any one of these adjectives could have applied to me, at any given moment:

Fabulous
Nervous
Happy
Unworthy
Fulfilled
Anxious
Joyful
Crazy
Content
Terrified
Guilty
Euphoric
Lost
Triumphant
Stressed

I could list another thousand words here, but you get the idea.

Releasing a book is more than I thought it would be, and nothing like I thought it would be, and everything in between. Seeing a pile of my books in a bookstore is exhilarating. Seeing that same pile of books not deflate after a few days is disheartening. Reviews are terrifying no matter what they say. Trying to write the new book while promoting the debut novel feels almost impossible. Self-promotion sucks (and thank you for saying that, Nathan Bransford).

When I was in New York last week, I was chatting with a NYT bestselling author, a very nice man who was once a debut novelist himself some years ago. He congratulated me on my book, and asked me how I felt.

For some reason, I hesitated. Maybe because I knew I couldn't lie to him.

He finally said, "It's amazing, but it's scary as fuck, isn't it?"

"Yes," I said. "Exactly."

What are you feeling right now?

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