Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Weeks In...



I love reading blogs by newly published authors. I would read each word, feel their excitement and long for the day when I would share that experience. The day has come, and here I am, two weeks into the release of my first novel. People have asked how it feels.
I'm not completely sure, to be honest. If I had to sum it all up in a few words, I might choose these:
Elation. Exhaustion. Obsession. Fear.
I'll elaborate.

Elation - Yay, I finally did it! My book is out there, people are reading it! This is an amazing feeling in and of itself. I am enjoying it, despite what the voices inside my head tell me!!

Exhaustion - I really want to make sure EVERYONE AND ALL THEIR COUSINS know about my book!! This means a lot of time spent visiting blogs, answering interview questions and joining sites that may help promote my book. And all the while wondering how to keep up with it all AND keep writing. But I spent many long, hard years to get to this point. I want to make sure it does well. This is very time consuming. Not to mention the fact that I'm spending a lot of money on promotional materials and getting the books to Bermuda. That's exhausting to think about, and it has proven to be a frustrating process!

Obsession - Sadly, having a new book out there is very much like having a new baby. You want to go and check up on it every five minutes to make sure its still breathing. I'm not sure I know how to NOT do this yet. It's just far too much of a temptation for me to click on that Amazon button and check it out. Sometimes this is a good thing. Today I discovered a brand new review from a random reader! It was a good review too, so I'm glad I clicked the button!

Fear - Yes, there is a lot of fear involved in this process. Thankfully, even though we're in early days yet, my book seems to be doing well, regardless of the numbers on the Amazon rankings!! But for me, there's the fear that my next book won't live up to the first. How do I do this all over again? Will I even be able to? My next book is written, complete and I'm in the final polishing stages. But I'm dragging my feet in sending it to my editor because I'm afraid it just won't measure up. No, sorry, it's not a sequel to Yesterday's Tomorrow - but that may be a possibility if I get a few seconds to actually think clearly...

I'm not sure if I'm just making far too big a deal out of the feelings I'm experiencing, but I've never done this before. So, first time for everything, right?

What about you? Have you been in my shoes yet? How did you or are you coping with it all? And if you're not there yet, how do you envision this part of the journey will look for you?

9 comments:

Keli Gwyn said...

Cathy, although I've yet to experience my first release, I have a hunch what you're going through is perfectly normal. This is when we writers need one another for support and encouragement. I'm here for you. If you need a set of ears or a shoulder, you have my email address, my friend.

Carol said...

You've done a great job of describing emotions that I imagine are sometimes pretty overwhelming. I'm not there yet with my fiction, but often have the fluttery 'hope-and-fear' uncertainties while waiting on acceptance of a magazine article. Our writing is based on passions and that pretty much guarantees we're going to be emotional about its success or failure. Wishing you the additions of joy and satisfaction! :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Yep. I think it's normal. But it has to be heightened for you, since your book came out so fast!! I still have a whole year before my book sees a shelf.

Tracy Krauss said...

You've summed it up very well, Cathy. (And I don't think you have anything to fear! Your book was amaziong and I'm sure the next one will be too!)

Stacy Henrie said...

I've had the chance to observe a lot of this in a friend and crit partner who's first book comes out this summer. It really opened my eyes to the realization that it isn't all roses once you're published - there are still challenges and fears, along with the elation and excitement.

Catherine West said...

Thanks everyone! If you ever need a kick in the pants about what all those Amazon numbers are really all about - Doc Mabry wrote a great post on this last fall on Rachelle's blog. I actually just googled What Do The Amazon Rankings Mean? and his post popped up. It's very insightful! I have to say the best thing so far about all this is the new people I'm getting to meet and interact with!

Maggie said...

Those emotions are just right in line with what you should be experiencing. I'm sure your book is off to a great start!

Tana Adams said...

I'm so thrilled for you. I can't wait to share your experience!!!

Steven E. Belanger said...

There's only one solution to the trepidation you're feeling about your baby being out there: ON TO THE NEXT. Get more babies out there.

And a very hearty congratulations on the birth of your first literary baby. Here's to many, many more...