This week has been insane. On Thursday my first book: Can I Speak To Someone In Charge? was published (I will shut up about it at some point) and I don't even know what to do with myself. This book has been everything to me for the last two years. It's been a huge labour of love and I cannot believe that after all of this time, it is done. It's out there. My secrets, my heart and soul laid bare for all to see.
(Just because people keep asking, the jumpsuit is from Asos and you can get it HERE!)
For the last four weeks especially, this project has been at the forefront of everything that I have done. There has been a countdown on the kitchen wall, it's been the focus of every conversation I've had with basically everyone I have met or seen and as for my working life? I have been pretty much incapable of doing anything else.
The last two weeks in particular have been mad. My first chapter was published in The Daily Mail's You Magazine, another one was published in The Sun, I even made the front cover of The Times Magazine last Saturday alongside an interview that I did with them. I never expected anything like this, not even close and I haven't really known which way to turn.
There has been a lot of love and support and for that I will always be incredibly grateful. People sending me photos of the book, telling me that they have pre-ordered, finding the blog and connecting with it, taking something from it. I cry, a LOT about this, the kindness and support, it means so much to me. There has also, obviously, been a lot of hate, 'cos, you know, it's 2017 and that's how the world works. For years I have been running this blog and during that time I have done my very best not to shout about my surname. It never really seemed relevant to my project, being the daughter of a motoring journalist, but obviously now the secret is out. A lot of people didn't care, a lot of people have shown their support and then lots and lots of people are really really pissed off with my career choice.
I don't need to explain it here, I don't want to give people the satisfaction but you know the drill by now 'nepotism got me there', 'I'm totally talentless', 'I've never worked a day in my life'. Some of it has been much nastier but mostly the consensus amongst certain comment sections was that there was no way that I would have got a book deal if it had not been for my name. That hurts, if I'm honest, because of course that is a worry that I have carried with me for my whole life. Maybe I wouldn't. But there is no way for me to know that now. I'm trying to help people, with this blog and this book, I can't imagine doing anything else. I've been working in a fireplace shop to fund it, it's been so weird but I am so in love with my job that I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I would have done pretty much anything if it meant that I would be able to run Pretty Normal Me. I worry a lot that people are going to assume that I've taken the 'easy path' but I suppose we all know that they say about people who assume.
So back to this time last week. It was mad. I had just seen myself on the cover of The Times Magazine and I was packing a bag to run away with, it wasn't that it was too much, it was amazing, I was just starting to become a little overwhelmed and had basically stopped sleeping. I wrote about this last week, the fact that I ran away. I'm really really pleased I did it. It was just for a couple of days and it meant that when I got home on Tuesday night (after a ten hour drive), I was filled with so much positive energy. I was so excited to be back and found myself so grateful to be home and ready for the madness that was about to ensue.
I don't ever really remember what I did on Wednesday, although I know I definitely drank too much wine that night because Thursday morning, the biggest day of my career, started with a headache, two aspirin, three coffees and more water than you can imagine. The day was great, despite the hangover, people on Twitter were being so lovely and I basically just glued myself to my phone. My friend Omey took me out to lunch (where she poured a glass of water of her brand new and just signed book!) and then the afternoon flew by.
Before I knew it I was in a cab on the way to my launch and was so nervous that I thought if I opened my mouth I would throw up. Why? Fuck knows. As Omey pointed out, I'd done all the hard work now and THIS was the easy bit, but it didn't really feel like that. My hands were shaking, I couldn't face talking, this is what I had been waiting for, working for.
Unsurprisingly my nerves ebbed away when I got there and realised that I wasn't the only person who was going to show up. I gave a little speech, which was terrifying, signed some books, which was totally surreal, and then headed to the pub and got very drunk with my friends, family and wonderful team. I fell into bed at 2am on cloud nine and then the weirdest thing happened.
I woke up at 7am the next day (yesterday) and I felt SO low. I've now decided to label it as my 'book comedown'. Despite the fact that the comments (that I was reading anyway) were overwhelmingly positive, the night had been amazing and I had fucking book out(!!!), for some reason yesterday I felt so flat. My anxious mind was not helped by my hangover and the fact that I had hardly slept at all and I basically couldn't bring myself to get out of bed.
What if this was it? What if this was as good as it got? What if no one read it? Or worse still, what if they read it and hated it? For years I have thought about nothing but this book and during that time I didn't spare a thought for what was going to happen afterwards. After it was published. I cried a bit, which made me angry with myself. I was also lonely but too consumed with it all to even get out of bed to do something about that. I actually just lay in bed and ate sushi watching Gilmore Girls and tried to make it look more glamorous for Instagram's sake...
Thankfully, after ten hours and several pep talks from friends and family I got up and left the house. I decided to leave London and go and stay with my mum for the weekend. Alex is in LA at the moment and I din't think I could do the whole weekend alone. The drive, as it turns out, was great. (I'd been scared about it all day because my brain is weird). I started thinking about the future, making plans and being excited again. I got home, had a good night's sleep and have woken this morning so excited for life again, for everything that is coming next. The next few days are going to be amazing, I've got a lot on and it's my birthday on Friday.
I feel like I am supposed to feel again, happy, excited, positive. Yesterday knocked me for six and I didn't expect it, but I did want to talk about it. Because I think the comedown is quite normal, no matter how unexpected, and not just for authors, but for anyone the morning after a night that they have spent a long time planning; I suppose it's how a lot of people must feel the morning after their weddings, they know that they should be SO happy but for some reason they find themselves feeling a little bereft: it's all over.
Please don't assume for a minute that I am not so grateful and excited about this, I am, I really really am. It's beyond anything I ever thought possible and I cannot say thank you enough times. The fact that I am talking about the lows does not stem from anywhere bad, I only wanted to do it because I found it so fascinating.
The whole process has been such a rollercoaster, one that I am still riding, I'm not sure that I will ever really get off it. I'm sure that there will be times when it nose dives, like it did yesterday, but right now it is on the up again. Such is life eh?
I'm so lucky and I am so happy. To those of you who have read it/bought it already THANK YOU, your comments mean more to me than anything.