“Writers tend to be so paranoid about talking about their work because no one, including us, really understands how it works.”
A Confidence Carol has been out a week, and while there were some high stress moments leading up to release day, overall I am incredibly pleased with the launch.
I was going to do a “XX Things I’ve Learned From Writing Two Books” post, and while I am sure it would be enthralling to read about how I didn’t (and barely do now) have any idea how a semi-colon works, everything I could come up with pales in comparison to the most important thing I learned:
I have awesome people in my life.
Anyone that’s ever written (or done any kind of art) seriously can tell you how frightening it is to put your work out to be judged for the first time. You are at the mercy of the masses, and perhaps the only thing worse than a poor review is your hard work simply being ignored.
Writing is an extremely personal and internal act, and letting a piece of work that you toiled over, for months on end, out of your grasp has to feel a little like seeing your first child go off to college. All that you have helped cultivate and grow is now on its own, completely out of your control.
I admittedly had a minor breakdown in the coffee shop I was inhabiting last Monday in the hours following the book going live. Rationally, I knew not to expect much response other than some Facebook likes, but because I had been building up to hitting that submit button on Amazon for so long, I wanted immediate gratification. I wanted 1,000 copies sold the first hour, my name to rise to the top of the Kindle Charts, to see my cover on the front page of reddit…I wanted to go viral.
And while none of that happened (yet), something just as good did.
People that I knew, and had actual, real relationships with started to send me texts and messages. Messages saying that they bought my book, that they were excited to read it, that they were proud of me.
The fact that friends and family of varying degrees had voluntarily given me their time and hard-earned money for something that I wrote in Word over the past few months boggled my mind and made me extremely thankful, a feeling that no amount of sales to strangers would have given me.
Among many acts that left me flattered to the utmost in the past week, I had:
- two friends write good reviews (unsolicited) on the book’s Amazon page
- a friend I hadn’t talked to in over a year text me about how much he was enjoying the story and how it had made him think about his life
- multiple people at my gym excitedly tell me that they are reading the book
- my brother time the posting of my headshots on his blog with ACC‘s release
- a high school classmate saying she convinced three of her friends to buy
- one of my favorite Twitter follows tweet my book to her 400,000+ followers (also unsolicited and I still have no idea how she found it in the first place)
- countless people selflessly share the Facebook status announcing the book’s release
- a friend offer to introduce me to her brother, who is an established playwright
- another friend offer to promo the book on his platform that is much more established than mine
It all gives me a feeling that is difficult to put into words. Writing can feel very lonesome at times, but this past week I felt as if I had an entire team of publicists behind me. Moreso, it reassures me that I am going down the correct path for myself, and that I can make this dream a reality.
Of course I want to make money writing, and of course I would love my work to go viral. I’d be flat-out lying if I said otherwise. But you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and having my friends and family support my work is like having the best team of teachers to lean on in the world.
So thank you, readers. This project was one of the more exhausting experiences of my life, but after all is said and done I can easily say it was one of the more rewarding as well. I can’t wait to start the next book, and I hope you will enjoy it even more.
Thanks again and happy holidays.