Consider the platypus.
Part mammal, part reptile, part bird, all bound together with some kind of cosmic humor, it is one of the animal kingdom's most contradictory constituents. How do you begin to make heads or tails of it? Where does the mammal end and the reptile begin?
Now consider the author.
Part artist, part salesperson, part promoter, all bound together together with chocolate and/or wine, the author is almost as contradictory as the platypus. And, as I am discovering as I draw ever-closer to the release of my first book, much of this feels incredibly .... well ... awkward. In the very best way possible of course, but still, sometimes equating me with the term author feels about as natural as that bill on the platypus. It's a lot like being sent home from the hospital with your first baby, when you're excited and happier than you have ever been and simultaneously 100% certain that you are going to screw this up big time.
Sometimes, when I consider all the new things that I want and need to do - write and promote and sell and revise and design and volunteer and do the mom & wife thing - all at the same time - I panic. There's too much that's new and so many things to learn, and how on earth am I supposed to do all these new things at once?
That's when I must remember the platypus. Because you know, logically speaking, there's no way that animal should ever function. Five different varieties of genes? Seriously? Yet not only does the platypus function, it functions so well that it hasn't changed in one hundred thousand years. It has pulled together the world's wildest collection of bodily flotsam and jetsam, and it works. Despite everything that says no way, the platypus works. So maybe - just maybe - there is hope for the insane collection of bits and pieces that is the new author.
Or maybe I just need to move to Australia.