Okay, I realize my drama is showing again, but after last night's (er...early this morning) big plunge, I'm super nervous. Actually it's a mix between anxiety and excitement.
I kind of, sort of, took the self-publishing train once upon a time ago. It wasn't really self-publishing, but it was a lot like it. At the time it was my first experience with the publishing industry. I got a referral from a friend of my brother and I was so excited I didn't think twice. It didn't go at all like I imagined and I think that's why I've been stuck on the idea of traditional publishing ever since.
But, despite my lack of success so far doing things the traditional way (and you should know that by no means am I giving up that dream!), I truly believe it was important to get Elemental out there. I guess I'm just anxious about how it will be received. And, of course, all the work that goes into promoting it.
As writers we spend a lot of time dreaming, planning, working and revising. The time we put into our projects often goes either unrecognized or under appreciated. And I'm not just talking about agents here (after all, that's a part of the traditional publishing process). I'm talking about US!
Let me put it this way. Say you make a delicious meal. Maybe for your kids, or your husband. Maybe for a date.
But the person you made it for, is suddenly on a diet. Or he/she has decided to eat out tonight. Or they're just not that into it. They don't want anything to do with all that hard work.
What's you're first instinct?
As a writer:
Fine. Whatever. It's cool. I'll just...um, oh it looks so good, I don't know. Maybe I'll knock on all my neighbor's doors and see if any of them are interested. If that doesn't work, I could always just approach random people at the subway. But that's so much work. Maybe I could just eat it all myself. But that's a lot of food for one person. You know what? I'll just leave it there. If I get a hankering for it in the next few days I'll take a bite or two. If not, I'll just leave it. Once it grows it's own green carpet I'll toss it in the compost. End of story?
As a cook/mom/dad/everydayhardworker:
Seriously? I just put all that work into preparing this fabulous meal and you're not going to have any? Last time I checked, you loved this stuff! Now you don't want any? You're just going to let it sit there and go to waste? Uh, uh. No way. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to have some friends over. Maybe even have a dinner party. There is no way, all this hard work is going to waste. No way, no how.
Which scenario would you choose?
As far as I'm concerned, writing Elemental (and doing it well) was a hell of a lot harder than cooking a meal. Cooking a meal takes me a few hours at the most, but writing a novel? Well, you know. And if I'm not willing to waste good food, why waste a good story.
Elemental and all its characters deserve to see the light of day. I'm one of those writers that has a connection with my characters. I don't just pull them out of my wooha. They're like real people to me and the thought of their stories not going on is a kind of heartbreaking. So even though, I'm done writing Elemental. Done revising and done subbing. I'm not done with it. The story may have ended on that last page, but it's not over. I still want to tell it and if I find people who want to hear it, then I'll keep writing it.
As writers we need to remember why we do what we do. For us and for potential fans.
Now that's the end of the story.