I've been offered a contract: a publishing contract for one of my novels. It's exciting and terrifying.
So, that's all I've been doing: reading it, thinking about it, researching, seeking advice. It's my first one, or at least my first one for a book of my own.
I know for a lot of people the idea of negotiating a contract is business as usual, but it's totally new for me. As a schoolteacher, I get a contract, but there's nothing negotiable in it, not even in states with teacher unions. There is the contract. You accept it, or you refuse it. You don't negotiate it. It is what it is.
So, this is scary stuff. I read each line trying to figure out if I am being paranoid to imagine how that language could be used to make my life miserable. I worry that if I push back too hard, the offer will be withdrawn. I worry that if I accept it without pushing back, I'll be stepped on like a doormat or cheat myself out of reasonable compensation for my work.
My heart feels large in my chest with joy, and tight with trepidation. Who knew that getting what you've been hoping for was so stressful!
I have no reason to think that this publisher wants to run roughshod over me. If I did, we wouldn't be working together. But, that doesn't mean that bad things can't happen.
So (deep breath) (deep breath) (one more deep breath), I'm going deep-language diving. Wish me luck when I come back up for air!