Monday, December 19, 2011

Eating My Brain

So my third book, Zombie Tag, is officially released in 4 hours and 37 minutes. I have my last exam of the semester in about eighteen hours, and Hanukkah begins about four hours after that, let's say.

I'm thrilled and impatient and excited, but really I'm just sitting here crying a little and wishing I could disappear, and I figured I should blog about that a little, even if it's not the post I'm supposed to write. I should be writing a big BUY MY BOOK thing right now, but you guys know I want you to buy my book. You know how this works.

What I think you might not know is how hard this all gets.

The reason I don't like writing these posts isn't because I'm afraid of being honest with you guys; you guys know I'm pretty much the most open of books, and until someone is like WHOA HANNAH STOP I'm probably going to keep doing that forever and ever. But I don't write these sad damn posts because I'm worried about how they make me see, so, upfront, okay? I know how lucky I am. I really, truly do. I thank the universe every single damn day that I have this job.

And then stupid things swallow me whole.

You guys are so fucking NICE to me. That's what kills me. Do you ever look at people you love and just want to cry because you love them so much, and they love you, and you feel like there's this pocket of the universe that exists JUST to take care of you?

That's how I feel.

And it scares the shit out of me.

Because I don't want to let you guys down.

I don't want to fuck up and not sell and have to stop writing books.

I don't want the criticism to wear me down to the point that I can't write anymore.

I don't want to get eaten alive by my own brain and have to stop and work some office job.

I don't want to flame out before I'm thirty.

I just feel like I'm phoning it in lately, not with writing (because I haven't BEEN writing, and let's not talk about that tonight) but with publicity, talking to you guys, the sheer act of getting my shit together. And it's just this agonizing fear of failure weighing me down, and that's NOT me. I'm a lot of damn things, but, compared to a lot of writers and compared to a lot of the other things that are fucked in my head, I'm not much of a worrier. I don't overanalyze. I don't panic.

And yet here I am, crying on my bed because someone said something nice to me and my damn heart couldn't take it.

I keep writing things and deleting them because I don't know how to say it. I'm just scared. I'm scared no one will read the book and you guys will forget about me.

That's what it is. You guys loving me is scary because I'm afraid that one day you won't.

You don't have to reassure me and flatter me in the comments or something. I mean, I wouldn't HATE that, but that's not what I'm going for. Really I just want you to understand the crazy places a writer's head goes to, because I think release turns a lot of people into robots publicly, when really it tosses our brains like salads, and you know me and my problem with compulsive honesty so here I am.

So, uh, buy my book. I just hope you like it, if you do.

Really, I just hope that even if you don't like it, you don't give up on me.


Leigh Ann said...


Everyone has fears. Sometimes they seem irrational. That doesn't make them less fearsome.

I will say that the people who are worried about failing? Are the people that I'm least concerned will fail.

You're brilliant, and an inspiration. And those things aren't easy to just quit doing, or to lose.

Remember: Gam Zeh Ya'avor. This too shall pass. For better or for worse.

I'm buying your book tomorrow. My boys are only 3 and 4, but they like being read to, and they LOVE zombies.

Happy Chanukah. <3

hannah moskowitz said...

Thank you, Leigh Ann. I love you so much.

Lydia Sharp said...

Now you've got me crying, too. What a brilliant post.

It's impossible for you to flame out before you're thirty. Your writing, your stories, just keep getting better and better. And because of this, it's impossible for me to forget you. Sorry, but you're stuck in my head for good. ;-)

hannah moskowitz said...

Lydiaaaaa <3 <3 <3

You guys are never going to let me stop crying, are you? I HAVE A VLOG TO FILM, DAMN IT.

Leigh Ann said...


(To be honest, I lost my s**t when my CPs gave me nice feedback on a first draft this weekend. So I'm not much more stable.)

Love you back. :)

Janelle Alexander said...

Sweetie, I have (well, 9yo has) the signed ARC of ZT in a very special place, and I'm still going to buy it because I love it AND YOU that much.

Not because you are an amazing writer (which you are), but because you are an amazing person--kind, generous, and fucking honest.

Happy Chanukah!! <3 <3 <3

hannah moskowitz said...

Janelle Janelle Janelle I love you and J so fucking much.

Kristen said...

i love you babe
and you are like my favorite person in the entire world.
and i don't know what i'd do without you.

and even though you already know all of this, i'm going to constantly remind you of it for the next 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Remilda Graystone said...

I feel like that a lot. The feeling sucks. But once you get past it, it's wonderful.

I have to say, though, it's not only because of your books that people love you. Most of it just has to do with you being you.

Good luck with your exam and everything else.

Lindsey R. Loucks said...

Yep, now I'm crying, too. You're a writer because you love and feel, and you take those feelings and spill them on paper so us fishies can feel them, too. And you're fantastic at it. That kind of skill doesn't fall off like a dead, old scab.

Now, brush those tears off, smile, and go play some Zombie Tag or something!

Becca Christiansen said...

I don't even know what to tell you, Hannah. Just that I love you. And I'm never going to give up on you. And I'm always going to buy your books simply because they were written by you (oh, and also because they're brilliant). I'm a fan not just of your writing but of your career, and so I'm going to support the living crap out of it.

Never stop being so honest. I know how it feels to feel TOO honest, like you're just some big sap who doesn't know when to shut up, but really, this is how people connect to other people over the internet. The honesty and the truthfulness is what turns random strangers into human beings. The connection we all feel for you comes from you being yourself. So don't apologize for being so gorgeously, awesomely honest.


PS - I'm giving Invincible Summer as a gift to a high school friend who is studying to work with deaf kids and who I did a book report on Camus's L'Etranger with in high school French class. Awesome, huh? :)

Raven said...


Quit loving you? IMPOSSIBLE. Hannah, you ARE an inspiration. As someone who is a young writer and as someone who is about to start college soon, I think you are awesome not only as a writer but as a person. Sure I don't know you personally but your blog shows that you're not afraid to speak your mind and that you're not afraid to be could anyone not love that?

Thanks for being you and I won't be suprised if everyone loves ZOMBIE TAG. Because, let's face it ZOMBIES? So freaking cool! <3

hannah moskowitz said...

Oh, God, you guys. Thank you so much.

Erik said...

Hannah, Hannah, Hannah... You're kind of awesome, but you already know I think that, so let's move on to the pep talk point...

I can't say that I know exactly when I'll be able to buy or read your book, but know this. Every great thing you've written, and every great thing you will write henceforth -- all are part of an even greater masterpiece: The Great Adventures of Miss Hannah Moskowitz.

Also, don't be afraid to self-publicize. I fully feel your anxiety over perception, but trust me, you wear a halo of humility, so it's cool if every so often you holler, "I am here, check me out!"

You are a rock star, and you will always be one. I don't expect you'll ever fall off the stage, but even if you do, who cares, there's always the next show, right?

OK, I'm good. Happy Release Day & Happy Holidaze! :)

hannah moskowitz said...

<2 Happy holidays, Erik.

Elissa J. Hoole said...

You have a lot going on, and a lot to hold together--crying is a great emotional release valve. You're going to have a great release and a terrific career. *hugs*

hannah moskowitz said...


and Erik, you were supposed to get a heart too...

Anonymous said...

Crying isn't a bad thing, and neither is feeling how you do. You ARE an inspiration, my dear. I've been doing a bazillion interviews and guest posts for my book release, and every time I'm asked who my favorite author is, or to name an author who inspires me, you're at the top of the list. WE ALL LOVE YOU, K. ♥

Suzie Townsend said...


Deep breaths. One day at a time. Have faith.

We all have faith in you.

hannah moskowitz said...

Suzie--<3 I try.

Kelley--I get all these google alerts from your blog tour and I love it to pieces. And love YOU.

Kate Larkindale said...

Crying isn't a bad thing you know! You are such a huge inspiration to me and so many other writers out there, and I know you won't burn out before you're thirty.

Just take it slow. You've had a huge year, and it's perfectly fine to feel a little overwhelmed by it. You don't have to do everything. Let yourself enjoy it a little....

T.L. Bodine said...

Nothing says "You're doing it right" quite like a paralyzing fear of failure.

You're an inspiration, and I have complete faith that you have a fruitful career made of awesome ahead of you.

Besides, the best part of being a writer is that your die-hard fans will NEVER stop going to bat for you, no matter how obscure and/or irrelevant you become. Look at the cult of Melville! ;)

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Great writers are never secure in their ability or popularity. That fear you've got is a powerful thing. It'll ruin you if you let it, but if you can harness it and use it to remind you to be the best you can be, then you've got something.

Keep on rocking.

hannah moskowitz said...

Thank you so much, guys. So, so much.

Tom M Franklin said...

"I don't want to flame out before I'm thirty."

I sinseriously doubt this is even a remote possibility. You're constantly changing up what you're writing, challenging both the YA genre and yourself as a writer.

(In other words, you're doing it right)

(Also, those are both reasons why you have such a solid, growing fanbase)

See? Win-win.

-- Tom

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

I think if I had two books come out in one year, I'd be sitting in the corner, eating my hair. So, what you're feeling? Completely natural.

Invincible Summer was one of my favorite books of the year, and I can't wait to read Zombie Tag. :)

Mara Daniel said...

Just finished Zombie Tag and all I can say is that I'm blown away for so many reasons that I can't name every single one, but I want to. I REALLY want to.

Before I try, I'll zip my lips. I just want to say that I loved it, and I love everything you write and I will continue to love everything you write even though you probably have no idea who I am :)

Rachael Allen said...

I adored Invincible Summer. I can't stop gushing about it. To my friends and family. On Goodreads. It blew me away.

So I had to stop by and say I can't wait to read Zombie Tag and every other book you put out.

MBee said...

Even if you ever wrote something that sucked (which I highly doubt would happen) how could I stop liking the girl who is honest and funny and takes time out of her busy life to talk to little ole me, a virtual nobody, on twitter?

And when people ask who my writing inspirations are (yes that question has come up on occasion in the rare indie author interviews I've done), I always mention you. You are who I wish I had been at that age and you truly are an inspiration.

Writing, like any other art, is subjective so I can totally understand the fear that when something new comes out you're not sure people will like it, but have faith in yourself. You are an amazing writer and just because you've written something that's MG rather than YA and perhaps are not quoting Camus, doesn't mean people won't like it. Hell, you're turning on a whole new age range of readers who will grow up loving to read your stuff, moving from ZT to IS & Break.

It's all good Hannah. Smile because you've got a gift. We smile because you share it with us. :)


Wendy said...

I was freaking out once to a friend of mine over some writer stuff and the response I got was a very loving, "hey, that's completely normal..."

And it made me laugh. But what it did more than that was the NEXT time I freaked out (because there's always a next time), I remembered that and I thought, "Cool, I'm a really normal freak."

Weird, I know, but somehow it worked for me. I didn't feel alone while I was melting down, which helped immensely.