A Publishing Aftermath and a New Beginning
A couple of weeks ago I published my first book. I sent Loreless out into the world.
To use a well-worn cliche, it was a baptism of fire.
Now in the aftermath I realise I am at the beginning once again.
For months and months I had no fear. I was convinced of what I was doing.
I had a goal: go out and publish a book.
I let nothing stand in my way. I took no prisoners. I was an athlete training for the ultimate prize. I was going for gold.
And the funny thing is, I got there. I surprised myself. Now I am sort of reeling from the shock of it all. Looking back, it was no small feat.
There were a million steps along the way. Practically every single one of them was new to me. It was learning curve to end all learning curves.
First I had to teach myself to write above average. I knew I had a good story, but that wasn’t enough. So I honed my craft and produced the best piece of writing I could.
I then had to learn the process of publishing: editing a book, formatting a book and deciding on artwork. So many decisions, they practically drove me mad towards the end. But I kept going.
And the steps went on and on: writing descriptions, finding readers, asking people to review. Proofing not only the words themselves but the pages they were printed on.
And that was just the book in its physical form. In order to get it out there I needed to start a company to do it all. Also a first for me and again a plethora of steps.
Along the way I had to convince not only myself, but also a lot of nay-sayers, that what I was doing wasn’t complete madness.
That independent publishing was the right choice. I think I managed to convince most of them, except at times I struggled to believe in it myself.
Now I have crossed the finishing line, getting a book out into the world, I find myself in new and rather foreign territory. The landscape has changed. What was once a target in the distance has rushed up at incredible speed and passed me by. I am now standing on the other side.
Now that I have reached this point, it’s all a little perplexing.
How did I actually manage to get here? I am surprised that everything I said I would do, I did.
But what happens now?
Now I am in uncharted waters. Now I am on my own, or am I?
Wasn’t I alone all the time? No, not completely. I couldn’t have done it without a lot of help at particularly crucial stages along the way.
The path up to now was tried and tested. There were plenty of guides to help me on my way. I studied hard.
However, now I need to take stock of everything. When you are travelling at light-speed for so long, it’s quite difficult to adjust to not seeing everything flashing by you.
There were definitely some lessons I skipped along the way. The ones about how to keep it all running and where to go after you’ve published. Apart from the obvious of course, which is to publish again.
It was and still is about the story. Getting it out into the world was only the beginning. Now it needs to find readers.
And that part of the journey is seemingly a lot slower than the previous ones.
Before, I was in control. I was the driving force. I was the creator.
Not anymore, now the creation needs to find its own way.
I still need to be there for it, but in some way I have to let it go. I have to remind myself that I have only taken the first of many bigger steps.
That, although where I stand now is quite an achievement, it was never meant to be the end of the journey.
Getting back to athletes, I am ignoring the Olympics on purpose.
I have missed most of it anyway. I am too busy training myself for the next competition.
I’m certain there are lessons to be learnt from athletes that have achieved their goals. I’m sure they don’t stop when they get there. Although, just as with my own experience, it must also take some getting used to.
Somehow I can now imagine what it’s like standing up there on the rostrum.
You are holding that little medallion in your hand. Yet, it’s worthless.
You may have felt it was the reason why you were doing it all. But you’re wrong.
It’s only the beginning. There is so much more you can achieve.
There are many more stories to tell.
Are you facing a new beginning?
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