I Sold A Book, And It Was Scary


I'm pleased to announce that your girl, M. Ross,

I quit my job as Mindy Kaling's assistant because I really believed I was going to sell a book, and because my boyfriend Ben really believed I was going to sell a book. I don't know if I would have had the guts to quit without him. It was hard, and scary. I hadn't even finished the proposal, but I was up for the Saveur awards in less than a month, and there was nothing that was going to stop me from going to New York, attending the awards and trying to sell this book. There were no guarantees on anything. There was a good chance I would spend all my money going to New York, not win any awards and not even have any publisher meetings because I didn't even finish my proposal.

But as luck (and a lot of hard work) would have it, I finished the proposal, won the awards and I had a lot of good meetings. I had meetings for hours on end, for days on end. At the end of the day, I would rush off to Saveur events. It was extremely exhausting, especially coming on the heels of a press trip to Napa. I was running around like crazy and so anxious about everything. I barely ate, didn't sleep at all, and had to be "on" for over a week straight. 

Friday, June 5th, I had a legit breakdown.

The night before I had super surprisingly won the Saveur awards. My meetings that week had gone beyond wonderfully (I'm better in person I promise). There was no reason for me to be crying uncontrollably with panic, and yet I was. It was so bad I couldn't leave my hotel room and had to cancel seeing some of my favorite people on my last, and only free, day in NYC. I have anxiety, but never like this. It was so embarrassing, but I was so upset. So upset that I begged a wonderful, maybe one of my best, friends to bring me Xanax (something I do not fuck with) to my hotel. He brought it over during his daily run, in a tie-dyed shirt and basketball shorts. We sat by the pool and I cried and buried my face in his shoulder and he told me not to Heath Ledger myself. I was so scared and I was so scared of him leaving. He told me to go to the park, to get out, and I'd be okay. But I really didn't feel like I would.  I was so, so scared. 

And I couldn't even believe I felt that way.
But I had legit ran myself into the ground.
I mean I got some pizza and chilled and was fine,
BUT, was legit not fine for awhile.

I got back to LA on Saturday night after almost missing my flight because I got drunk at the pool after some conferences calls and left my only credit card at the hotel. My book was going to auction Tuesday morning, 11 AM, EST. I proceeded to smoke a lot of weed and be an anxious mess until then.

I had spent everything I had going to New York.
Financially and emotionally.

I woke up Tuesday morning at 7:30AM PST
my body completely covered in hives
with a message from Chase that I had
$25.01 to my name.

And by 10AM PST,
I had sold my book
to Plume, an imprint of Penguin.

So. Here I am.
Still mostly broke, but hey,
I sold a fucking book. 

And my rash is finally gone, so that's good.

I'm just so excited. I never in a million years thought I would be writing a wine book, because generally I hate wine books, but this is my wine book. And you know me. So, you know

I guess the point is in your life, you will have the choice to make scary decisions. You will have the choice to leave what is comfortable. You will have the choice to spend all your money on pursuing your dream. You will have the choice to throw your middle fingers up at the people who have doubted you, who have told you you're not a real writer or you talk like an idiot or you have a mustache. Your ex-boyfriend who a month ago messaged you to tell you you're a degenerate schizophrenic pandering to twenty-somethings. Your family who never understood what the hell you were doing because they saw you keep changing your path, when really you were just following it. 

You have choices.
Make them for yourself.
Especially when they are scary.

They may not work out. I've made a lot of scary choices that have not ended up in me winning awards and selling books, but I wouldn't be here right now if I hadn't made all those other scary choices leading up to these recent scary choices. 

It was fucking scary.
And there is a good chance things may only get scarier.
But you know what?

This is the first time I haven't been scared.

Posted on June 16, 2015 .