I’ve Checked All I Can and I Can’t Check No More…Yeah, right.

Know what I do before I go to bed?  Check my alarm.  Sounds normal enough, right?  Except this is how I check my alarm (I use my cell phone).

Set two alarms. Turn both on and off approximately ten times.  Make sure I leave both ON.

Turn the ringer on and off approximately ten times—make sure I leave the ringer ON.

Then make sure the volume is all the way up—watch as all the bars light up.  Turn it down all the way and then watch the bar light up again just to make sure.  This I do only about five times.

Verbalize every step and tell myself, Alarm ON, Ringer ON, Volume UP.

Go to bed…open one eye, look at my phone on my night table, sigh, repeat the process.

Did I mention I have OCD tendencies (or, as I read over this post, perhaps it’s just full blown OCD).

I know that by going through this process, I’m basically raising the chances of my alarm not being set properly, but, you know…

Anyway, what made me think of this whole alarm thing is the recent completion of my second round of edits and the realization that someday, I won’t be able to make any more changes to this manuscript.  Someday, this baby will go out into the world as is (well, it will be dressed up for the occasion, hopefully with a cool cover and font).  I won’t be able to go back and double, triple, centuple check everything.  And I will most likely wake up in a cold sweat the eve of launch day and wonder….did I double check every fact?  did moving that scene closer to the beginning really make sense?

I wonder if I’ll run into a building somewhere and yell, “STOP THE PRESSES!” because well, I just have to check one. more. thing (Guys, my heart is racing right now just thinking about this, and yeah, I believe the room is getting smaller and I’m having trouble breathing).  And yes, I’ve actually played out this scene in my head.   Because I know the day will come when my editor will pry it out of my hands even as I yell, “Wait! No!  I don’t know if it’s right.  What if something’s off?!”  

And she will probably have to give me a xanax say, “Trust me, it’s ON.”  And I will have to believe it (or not, but either way, it’s going out there).

I wonder what that moment will be like.  Will I really be as freaked out and scared as I think I’ll be, or will it be also such a sense of relief and happiness and accomplishment that it won’t be so bad.  Maybe I’ll hyperventilate.  Or will I run down the street shouting “I did it!  I did it!” while spraying unsuspecting neighbors with champagne?  Probably I’ll cry.  Or, all of the above?  Yeah, probably all of the above.

Terrifying…and cool…and terrifying…and cool…

Follow me on Twitter @jetchez

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8 Responses to I’ve Checked All I Can and I Can’t Check No More…Yeah, right.

  1. I’m usually not very (well, a little, maybe) OCD — but when going through getting a book published, I’m pretty sure I’d be reacting exactly the same way you are! As you say:
    “Terrifying…and cool…and terrifying…and cool…” Definitely! 🙂

  2. My blogging friend Todd Pack always says, “Stories are never finished. They escape.”
    And you just have to let them sometimes.
    Sending good wishes your way!

  3. OMG I’m the exact same way with my phone alarm! I check the alarm, my ringer and the alarm ringer before I go to sleep, and sometimes re-check. Ha!

    I can see myself being the same way when I’m at your stage. I was talking to two writer friends today about whether we’d read our published book once it’s published. I think I’d avoid reading the whole thing, for fear that I’d want to change something!

    • Hi Ghenet,
      Oh, I soooooo don’t think I’ll be able to read it once it’s out there for the exact reason you stated! It’s too scary.
      So glad you dropped by. Hope all is going well with your writing:)

  4. octoberdaniels says:

    We should all start a phone-checking support group. I get up at least once or twice to recheck it every night.

    I’ve never thought that far ahead, but I think I’ll have trouble knowing when to say “when” once I turn in my introduction, too.

    • Yeah, and then you have an idea to add this or that, and well…it’s just never done. And I always wonder if I’m really making it better, or messing with the only good thing in there. It’s so much fun to be a chronic second-guesser. 🙂

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