What can I tell you. I have learnt that I hate words, hate writing and even hate letters. I have learnt that I like to add really to everything to emphasise a point and my command of the English language is terribly poor. I have learnt that I really really really hated so much of this process. It’s hard, never ending and has left me with more insecurities than I started out with. The worst part of it though is that I’m going to undertake this awful experience again. Am I thus a masochist? See another point to add to my increasing insecurity!
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist or understand”-George Orwell
I’m having to complete the process at least another two times for the story isn’t finished with book one. The beautiful characters haven’t finished their journey as it is just the beginning of the epic adventure to come, the supernatural war in which our main character Emily truly becomes the warrior she was destined for. It may not have been what she wanted, but it is…and there you have it. I’m getting ahead of myself. I haven’t started promoting, I don’t know if people will love her as much as I do for she is “morally grey” as one reader pointed out, saying it was a brave decision. Only time will tell I suppose.
When I finished the latest iteration, I had the book cover, blurb etc ready to go and all I had to do was press publish. I couldn’t do that! For the first time in years I got stage fright. I wanted to hide under the covers, drink myself to oblivion and wait for the world to end. I’ve been a key note speaker a few times to large audiences, but this was what had me scared. Putting my baby out in the world. I imagine that this is how it feels to be a parent, but worse because people are more openly critical of art than they are of little humans. I had knots in my stomach and for such a little button to press, it seemed like such a huge step, and none of my previous coping methods were of any use.
“97% OF WRITERS NEVER FINISH THEIR NOVELS”Sharon Zinc
I had to remind myself that books, like paintings, music, films, plays etc are art. As such art isn’t for everyone, but catered to those who can understand and appreciate it. This book wasn’t written for everyone. It was written for those who have taste- and like with all art, everything is subjective. This worked a bit, but it didn’t take away my surprising fear for such a small action. I needed more to get me over the line. I went on a review binge in preparation. I read all of the negative reviews for the works of my favourite authors, shocked that anyone could think that their genius could be taken as anything else.
I feel I took a brave decision within my writing that won’t appeal to some people, I’m sure that others wont notice but those that do get it will hopefully see the impact positively.
So yes, this iteration of the book is finished and I pressed the button. I had a meltdown and panic and wasn’t sure it was ready, or more to the point, if I was ready! But now, as I wait for my author copy to check the paperback pagination, and flick through the kindle waiting for Amazon to put the look inside tag, I’m ok. The world hasn’t yet ended and I realise my fear was silly nerves. If you are having concerns, may I remind you that you have created a beautiful piece of art, something expressed from your soul, to be shared with the world.
“Something expressed from your soul to be shared with the world”
Yuk. Who says things like that? Me, I said that and that’s why I’m going to write more.
It is in writing that I am free as the characters tell me their little tale. Naturally I’m a Panster, so the structure in writing and editing is of course going to be hard because I like to see a tale unravel as I write, being surprised by my own imagination. This is why I had to learn to have structure, outline etc as my book had a number of arcs that had to be spread out. Now, I might say I’m a planster since I’ve a rough outline of direction.
If your looking to read more about Orwell’s “Why I write” please check this link
If you aren’t sure of your writing style and want to know more- check out the following
Sharon Zinc on why 97% of writers don’t finish their novel