If you truly love writing, you’ll find the time to write no matter what. And if you’re enthusiastic and entrepreneurial, you’ll promote and create opportunity for your work to be seen by as many people as possible, in order to make as many sales as possible. Because that’s the beauty of finally becoming an author, right? The fame. The adoration. The recognition. The achievement of hitting top ten on Amazon. The apotheosis of seeing your book in stores on a shelf. The heaps and heaps of cash, baby, cash!! Well, of course there are those for whom this is the definition of success.
When I completed the (what I thought was the final- boy, was I wrong!) draft of Damastor four years ago, I had refused to believe that anyone would want to read it and couldn’t have cared less whether the content was of any interest to others or not. I wrote Damastor like no one else was going to read it. I danced like no one was watching. It wasn’t until I was contacted by a certain Senior Editor of a publishing house (you know who you are!) that I even dreamed that publication could even be a remote possibility. I remember being in complete shock when I was told that my manuscript was good, that my poems were beautiful, and that themes therein would resonate with a lot of people. I sat there, stunned, thinking that there must have been some mistake or a mix-up. It was because of this meeting that I was given the courage to move forward, carrying with me the knowledge that I was doing a good job. Even though the deal with this publishing company fell through after a couple of years for whatever reason, I still knew that this novel was going to be published one way or another. My ten-year journey lead me to the realization that I wanted to share my book with others, despite the horror of having my innermost crazy imaginations made public (publishing my first novel is like wearing new, incredibly-comfy, flannel pyjamas stuffed with poo- awesome yet uncomfortable at the same time). You see, like millions of other writers, I define success by just having my work read by other human beings. A book is just pages stuck inside a cover until someone reads it, connects with it on some level, and recommends it to another person so that it soars it into the world.
Last night as I was getting ready for bed, it suddenly hit me that I could no longer work on Damastor. It’s done. That is so weird. I want to say thank you to everyone who has contacted me and given me support. My spirit is soaring because of you, and the feeling of overwhelming dread and terror at the thought of you having read my work will follow me always. For me, this is the real beauty, the real success in becoming an author. The terror. The embarrassment. The dread. The nausea.
So now I’ll just sit back, relax, reflect and await the ripple of reactions of my first published novel.
Ok, chatty-time’s over. I’ve got a novel to write.