I have news! Really exciting news. The piece of paper I am holding in my hands is not a bill, nor a bank statement… it’s the contract for a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Yes, a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Shall I say it again, in CAPITALS?! OK, I won’t.
This little baby dropped through the letter box at around 11am. The contact is for ‘a literary work entitled “Help Me!” by Marianne Power (‘hereinafter called ‘the Work’).’ It’s me! And I have ‘a literary work’. It’s so weird, wonderful and bloody random, I can’t quite believe it.
Some of you might remember the post I did about not going ahead with a UK book deal (http://helpmeblog.net/2014/06/27/say-fk-it-to-a-book-deal/). At the end of it I mentioned that a publisher in Brazil had expressed interest but I didn’t quite believe it. Even when a contract arrived in May for me to sign, I didn’t believe it because the Brazilian book lords hadn’t counter-signed.
It might sound paranoid but I was brought up by a business man for a father who told us not to believe anything until everything’s been signed and the money’s in the bank. Even then prepare for the fact that someone will try to nick it off you.
So all summer I heard nothing and kind of figured that it might not happen… then the contract arrived again this morning.
WITH THEIR SIGNATURE ON IT!!! YAY, YAY, YAY!
And not only am I about to be big in Brazil, I might almost be solvent at some point soon. I should be getting an advance in a couple of weeks (touch wood, fingers crossed etc) and while it’s not enough to get me out of my financial hole it’s going to be big help and combined with all the invoices outstanding from my recent bout of work, I’m really getting there.
DOUBLE YAY, YAY, YAY!
Literary fame AND money!! What more could a girl ask for?
I AM SO EFFING EXCITED AND GRATEFUL I COULD JUMP UP AND DOWN AND SCREAM AND EXPLODE.
OR JUST SAY ‘THANK YOU WORLD,’ OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
This seems to be a new (somewhat annoying) self-help habit I’ve developed. I now mutter ‘Thank you, world’ every time something good happens … you know, the big things like The Secret of My Success coming on telly when I’m hungover and on the sofa last Saturday afternoon. (Do you remember that one? With Michael J Fox looking about ten, pretending to be a financial hot-shot when actually he works in the mail room? It’s pure eighties cheesy goodness).
So thank you, world and at the risk of getting all Gwyneth at the Oscars, thank you to all my friends and family and thank you to Rowan and Liane, my super hot shot agents. Yes, I have two – because I’m THAT FLASH. Ha.
I have even found a way to tie in this news with vulnerability because I get what Brene says about being how
JOY MAKES YOU VULNERABLE
Seconds after opening the letter and wanting to burst with happiness I had that very familiar feeling that: this is too good to be true/who do you think you are/they’ll change their mind/you’ll write a crap book anyway. This is what Brene calls ‘Foreboding joy’ – so not even allowing joy for fear of the pain you’ll feel when it goes.
My initial thought was not to write this post until the money lands and that until the money lands it’s not real… then I went down the whole ‘maybe the money won’t land… and it’s not real’ thought but F**K It, in the spirit of this month I’m going to be vulnerable and believe it’s real and tell everyone about it.
It’s made me realise that I have always played down everything good that’s happened in my life because:
a) I don’t want to get ahead of myself/too big for my boots
b) I have to put myself down before someone else does
c) It might/probably will go tits up
d) Nobody likes a show off
e) It’s not cool to get excited about stuff. Much cooler to pretend that little things like Brazilian book deals are no big deal.
BUT SOD IT! MY FIRST EVER BOOK DEAL IS A BIG DEAL AND IF THE BOOK IS CRAP, SO BE IT – I WON’T BE ABLE TO READ IT IN PORTUGUESE ANYWAY!
So that’s it. Please don’t laugh at me if it all goes wrong or if I have some how imagined this. But I know you won’t. That’s another thing that Brene Brown says in Daring Greatly – being vulnerable doesn’t mean spilling your guts out to anyone, it means sharing with people who are there for you even when it’s going wrong, which is what a lot of you have been for me when I’ve been struggling over the last couple of months.
So THANK YOU and onwards. Rio, baby!!