Publishing: The Aftermath

DUN DUN DUN

Hi. It’s a rainy, dark day here this Monday morning, perfect for writing in some comfy sweats, and not too bad for a bit of reflection, too. I realized recently I have this thing that happens to me after almost every single book/story/poem I publish. Without fail, it goes something like this:

-With completed manuscript in hand: Wow. I’m proud. I wrote this? It’s not perfect (nothing is) but I love it. I love my characters. I have to share this with someone. Maybe I should publish it someday…

-Pre-publication (months or years later): I’m soooo nervous! I’m excited! I’m thinking about all the tiny details, reading over every word, choosing carefully, hoping release goes smoothly, hoping I sell some copies, hoping people like it.

-Release day: Holy shit! I’ve published something! That’s amazing, and I’m proud, and I’m humbled, and can’t believe it. And yay- people are buying!

-Post-release: People are liking it?!?! Are they telling me the truth? Are they just being nice? All my confidence is gone. I’m embarrassed. I’d change so much about the story. What was I thinking? Am I a total loser? Is my story complete garbage? Why did I do it from point-of-view? Why did I filter so much? Why did I write it to begin with? What gave me the balls to think I should put it (and myself) out there like this?

-Post-release (long-term): Person: “Oh? You wrote a new book, right?” Me: ::Blushes furiously, fumbles with words, finally answers in apologetic tone:: “Um, yeah.”

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

Really. What is that about? I get publishing-remorse after almost everything. I would say not my anthologies, perhaps because I am more confident in those stories. For the rest, I know in part it’s because having something put out in the world that is my creation, that opens my work up to criticism, is difficult. Particularly in the case of my poetry book– I’m still freaking out over that being live. Because what if I’m blinded by my own love and affection for each project? What if it’s really a mistake to publish? Despite having beta readers, critique partners, professional editing, etc, what if it’s just not good enough? What if I’m not?

It’s been almost two years since my debut novel was published, and since then I’ve published another 3 books, and numerous short stories and poems. Two years is not long. Maybe this feeling will go away eventually. I’m still a baby in the publishing world. I’m not sure if I just need more confidence, or a stronger sense of “what’s done is done” but something needs to change. It’s not that I’m not still proud, of myself, or my work. It’s not that I’ve been bludgeoned with awful reviews–because I am proud, and my reviews have mostly been very generous and kind. It’s just…I second-guess everything. I keep thinking of everything I’d change. I need to stop looking backward, take a deep breath, and take compliments better, instead of getting a sick feeling in my stomach every time someone tells me they’re reading my book!

Because really, so what if some people don’t like my books? My intent is to have readers love my work, so it’s hard to be cavalier about but the simple truth is not everyone will. And I won’t lie, I’ve had a couple of low reviews that stung. In general, maybe because they pointed out critiques that I myself have of my own stories. Like, damn it, they mentioned XYZ, and I had a feeling that was a weak point. It makes me want to smack myself a little, to be honest. But I am not perfect. And I never said my work was either. You guys know that, I’m sure.

Why do I keep forgetting?

With that said, please consider supporting this awkward, emotionally-complicated, yet lovingly quirky author by buying one of my books. Head on over to the Books & More tab if you’re unsure where to start.

Thank you for reading,

Amanda ❤

 

 

 

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