Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Loss and failure... or is it?

Today's blog was inspired by another author who wrote this blog about how being published made her feel.

I think that there is this image in our heads, brought on by Stephanie Meyer and J. K. Rowling, about us getting published and suddenly we are a rockstar. So for some reason signing a contract seems like it should change the rest of your life.

I think any published authors out there can agree with me that it doesn't. We are still, at the end of the day, writers. We sit down and do probably one of the loneliest jobs out there. What is a more solitary work than sitting down at a keyboard and vomiting up your soul? And then we sell bits of it with each book. This goes for every book... even the erotics. If you think it doesn't, then you know nothing of the writing process. Every book has a little piece of us in it. When we write vampires, psycho killers, love stories... any genre you can name, these authors sit down and use their own frame of reference and lives to come up with the plot.

Stephen King wrote what scared him. But there are other characters in those stories with the brutal deaths and scary monsters... there are mothers, friends, fathers, sons... all of these the author pulled out of their own lives, regurgitated and turned into fodder for storytelling. If you think it is easy to sit down at the computer and bleed, then you think I am exaggerating.

But that is what makes the stories come to LIFE. I'm not exaggerating. And if you want it bad enough, you KEEP SITTING DOWN TO BLEED...

So here we are, bleeding souls onto paper, and we get that contract and think that our lives are going to change. That somehow, everything is different now.

(It is a little like what I have heard about patients after gastric surgery... they think that now that they have lost the weight, the image in the mirror will look different. That people will treat them differently. Too often, the outside change doesn't leave time for the inside to catch up. So emotionally, when they look in the mirror, it is still the same image. And it hurts to see that. Ditto for publication... we think that the image will have been altered somehow but instead the outside doesn't catch up with the inside...)

And then we find ourselves going about our lives as they always have been. We shop at the same market. We have the same friends and family. Nothing changes, not really.

And it is this huge emotional rollercoaster...

I am so excited/happy/jubilant!! I did it!! I made it!! I am a published author!!

No one is reading it. Shouldn't my release day have more confetti or something? Why doesn't anyone see how HUGE THIS IS???

Oh, I am a failure. Why did I bother? No one is reading my book. Okay, not many people are. Someone pass the damn ice cream.

Who cares if they aren't reading it? I did it!! I wasn't doing it for the money! I did it to write a good book and I DID IT!!

I remember when I was excited about two books that I had releasing in the same month, I told a good friend of mine. His response summed up everything. "Yeah."

Me- Aren't you excited!! I have TWO books releasing this month!!"

Him- Well, you have lots of books out. Do you get excited about every one?

Yes. As an author we jump back on that emotional rollercoaster for every one. Even if we think-this time is different. This time I am not going to be surprised that there is no parade in my honor... no accolades from my peers... no buckets of money pouring down my chimney.

This time I am going to be okay with it being just another day.

Nope. We aren't. Our baby is being born... And we somehow expect the whole world to stop and oooh and aaaaw...

But the world keeps turning.

So for all the other authors out there who are in the same amusement park as me, riding that rollercoaster, whether you are at the top and screaming with your arms in the air or at the bottom with your stomach sitting in your throat, I offer up this vlog song from Jackson Pearce's YouTube channel. I still tear up watching it.

It sums up everything nicely... Happy writing!

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