1. Worry that no one is going to come to your book event.
  2. Send out a bazillion last-minute invitations via all channels, including, but not limited to: Facebook invitations, your Tinyletter, text messages to friends, an email to your mom who then told you that you waited too long to ask for her help as if you didn’t already know that, an email to the neighborhood listserv that you had your sister send hoping no one would know that she’s your sister because you have different last names even though you look like twins.
  3. Buy more wine. You told people there would be wine, so you buy more wine. If no one shows up, you can drink it yourself. The wine, you see, is tax-deductible.
  4. Buy more cheese. See #3.
  5. Start throwing all of your supplies into a laundry basket. Wonder why you always travel by laundry basket. People who are more together than you must have a better way to transport things than laundry baskets.
  6. Wonder if the bookstore will sell you the books that no one will buy because no one is coming so that they don’t get returned and counted against your sales. If you buy them, then they count as “sales.” Then you can give them away to people who have to pretend to want them because they’re your friends.
  7. Decide to wear the amazing Trina Turk jumpsuit you bought in Atlanta that is completely inappropriate for this sort of thing because first of all no one is coming to see you in your inappropriate jumpsuit and second of all you want to wear it and you feel awesome in it and if no one is going to come you might as well feel awesome. Also, you paid four trillion dollars for it during a bad decision-making hour of your life so you’re going to wear it, dammit.
  8. What shoes do you wear with a Trina Turk jumpsuit?
  9. Decide you are never doing another book event again because you cannot take the anxiety.
  10. Oh right, you’ve already agreed to do another book event in February.

The book event in question.

11. Remind yourself that writing isn’t sexy. It really, really isn’t. (But that inappropriate jumpsuit is. So you’re wearing it.)

Katie is a novelist, freelance journalist, and erstwhile law professor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the author of the Hollywood Lights Series, which includes ENTANGLEMENT (2015), LOVE AND ENTROPY (2015), CHASING CHAOS (2016), and HOW TO STAY (2017), all from Blue Crow Books. With Raven Books, she is the author of LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (2017).

As a journalist, Katie contributes to QUARTZ, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, THE (late, lamented) TOAST, DAME MAGAZINE and other national venues. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship. Katie has published many books on writing, including HOW WRITING WORKS with Oxford University Press. A professor of writing for more than a decade, she now teaches creative writing and works as a writing coach and developmental editor.