My Book Is Coming Out and I'm Scared

What if there's a one-person bathroom in the bookshop that you have to get a key to use and the fan isn't working so you can totally hear the person inside?
Publish date:
February 8, 2012
books, sara benincasa, social anxiety, agorafabulous, book publishing

So my book ("

Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom

") comes out on Valentine's Day. I'm trying not to lose my shit.

Oh, I'm extremely excited and thrilled about it, but I'm also increasingly nervous. It's a memoir about me going crazy, and wouldn't it be poetic and perhaps a little ridiculous if I actually went crazy in the midst of pimping it to you, the discerning lady-reader, as well as other potential customers around the world?

I'm not sure if it would help or hurt sales of a book about agoraphobia to find out that its author crawled into a spider hole upon its publication and refused to come out until she was assured she could hide in her bedroom for the rest of her life.

Anyhoozles, since they kindly let me write about teh politiks as well as my feelings on this here site, I figured I'd devote this post to all the things that scare me shitless about my book coming out. I know it's kind of the reverse of "The Secret," but that book is a load of flaming bullshit anyway and the author is a snake oil saleswoman from the depths of Hell.

My point in this post is to scare away my demons by naming them and bringing them out into the light. So, here goes.

1. I won't get enough sleep.

When I don't get enough sleep, my brain doesn't make the chemicals it needs to keep me out of the "Girl, Interrupted" crazyhouse, and my Prozac and Abilify don't work as well. I tend to obsess over little things and entertain irrational fears. Hence, this post. And as for not getting enough sleep during a six-week promotional push for a first book? It could definitely happen.

2. I'll get diarrhea on my book tour.

When I get nervous, things happen. Sometimes the things that happen take place in or around my butt. What if I'm about to do a stop on my insane 9-city book tour (

holla! Come hang out!

) and I get the shits and there's no bathroom nearby or, almost as bad, there's a one-person bathroom in the bookshop that you have to get a key to use and the fan inside isn't working so you can totally hear when the person inside the one-person bathroom pisses or shits, and then everyone hears the creepy author having a butt-baby, and then people blog about it? It could happen.

3. Ghosts of relationships past.

I once interviewed Tom Perrotta, a handsome gentleman who wrote "Election" and "Little Children" and other good books that have not yet been made into films, and he told me that an ex-girlfriend from high school showed up to one of his book signings. He felt bad because he didn't recognize her -- not because he was too cool for school (he seems very down to earth) but because she simply looked different.

I'm not worried about not recognizing someone I used to shtup. I'm worried about the sight of such a person -- or even an ex-friend or ex-boss -- sending me into a weird reflection hole in which I ruminate endlessly about what was, what could have been, and how I'll never find Lasting True Love or Long-Term Financial Stability. What if I go into a shame spiral of self-loathing? It could happen.

4. No one comes to my book tour.

Did I mention I'll be on a

9-city book tour

? And that you should come and hang out, for funs? Maybe we could get a drink, and I could tell you what I told Julieanne tonight when I was drunk off one martini at a tapas bar: "I'd really like to date a cobbler."

Because what if nobody comes to my book events? It could happen. Unless you come out to a book reading/signing/comedy event. (I'm sorry. I know this is very self-promotional. The self-promoting shit helps distract me from my very real fears.)

5. I'll get fat.

I know we are not supposed to fat-shame people, but I will fat-shame my potential future self right now: "Sara, what the fuck are you doing? Put down the goddamned Chick-fil-A. You know you usually gain weight on the road. Have six years in comedy taught you nothing?

Find a grocery store, buy some carrot sticks and low-fat peanut butter, and remember that you still have to count your Weight Watchers points when you're outside New York City. Jeez. Do you want to get holes in your jeans again because of the dreaded Thigh Rub? It could happen."

I'm sure I could think of plenty of other things to fear, but these are the ones at the top of my mind at the moment. So here's a question for you to answer in the comments: have you ever had something awesome happening in your life and been inexplicably seized by a host of fears? (Ladies with pre-wedding jitters, I'm looking at you.)

Let me know. Soothe my soul. Let's scare all the demons away, or at least make them feel really, really awkward.