In which I may have wrecked a reader

Or not; probably too soon to tell. A few days ago I had an email from a reader who happens to attend the same university I did. She was wondering if I regretted going there–if I thought a more prestigious university might have been better. She’s weighing all the pros and cons of advance degrees for her aspirations in writing/academia, considering graduate schools on the east coast, whether to stay in Texas.

Now, this young woman unfortunately caught me when I’m on a rather pressing deadline. My new book is due to my new editor at my new publishing house on November 30. And if you noticed how many times I just wrote “new”, it’s because I want to stress how important it is for me to make a good impression here. This is our FIRST book together, and the last thing I want is to turn in something that makes them hyperventilate with horror that they just gave me a lovely 3-book deal. (And that’s why I’m also not sharing exactly where I am in the process. I don’t want my new editor infarcting at the thought that I might possibly miss my deadline because I have so much left to do BECAUSE I’M NOT, REALLY. IT WILL BE FINE.)

Anyway, if you know me at all, you know that tight deadlines meanĀ  my filter is pretty weak. I tend to cut straight to the heart of the matter and let ‘er rip. So rather than explain in detail what my thoughts were in choosing that university, or why I deliberately let my GPA slip–true story; I’ll tell you all about it some time–I gave her the abridged version:

Short answer? Life’s a crap shoot. Do what you want and make yourself happy.

We overthink things way too much sometimes. We worry about other people’s opinions and having the right thing–the right car, the right degree, the right cola, the right phone plan. And it’s exhausting. So, occasionally, give some thought to sitting very still and asking yourself what would make you HAPPY.


3 thoughts on “In which I may have wrecked a reader”

  1. Kim Barker says:

    I think that’s really good advice Deanna. If anyone had ever sat me down and told me to ask myself what would make me happy I’d probably be much better off. We only get one life (I think). Plus if you can do something positive that makes you happy, it’ll effect other people. Kind of like paying it forward. And your new book is going to be wonderful, just like all your others. I’ve read every single one and I haven’t been disappointed once. Although I am going to miss Lady Julia and Nicholas!

  2. Lynne says:

    A woman after my own heart! Wouldn’t we all be a lot happier if we didn’t agonize every decision to death? Or worry about what anyone would think? Sure, advice is good in it’s place but at some point… One of my favorite phrases is “crap-shot”! Love that you used it.

  3. Libby Dodd says:

    Absolutely on the money! Great answer.

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