How will I feel…the first time I become a published author?
No, I am not an arrogant, overzealous poser who think she is destined to be a best-selling author. The truth is that I have a dream to be a published author, and I plan to work hard until I can achieve those goals.
So, how will I feel when it happens? Over the years, I’ve read the books of people I’ve never met, admiring their ability to shape the English language (and sometimes other ones) into beautiful works of art. Writing isn’t about making a political statement or placing universal themes that will make your book literature with a capital L.
The first aspect of writing is about expressing the emotions and ideas that make up the human condition. Even in the vast universes of science fiction or the actions scenes of westerns, the human condition can be found at the center of all writing. It is there, in the unconscious mind of the writer that we find the purpose of writing. To tell the stories that mean most to humanity. The ones about love, war, and grief. I am lucky to live in a world where information can travel instantaneously around the world, sharing ideas with people in different cultures. The desire to share my ideas with everyone is what began my love of writing.
This brings us to the second aspect of writing. The storytelling part. Bards eventually turned into scribes, when they realized the value the written word held for the stories of the past and present. Once a story is transcribed on paper, it can easily travel faster than one person telling the story. And hundreds of copies? Whoo buddy, you are really cooking now.
For those of us who cherish print for it’s massive contribution to passing our favorite stories across the globe, print can do even more for the aspiring writing these days. Whether you choose the big six, a small publishing company, or venture out into the publishing world alone, there is always a point to having your story available for the masses to experience. I don’t care if it’s on a $200 device that uses e-ink or a paper back with it’s glossy cover art. The thought of having my words available for people to purchase (or free) and read is overwhelming.
Now that I am being taught the process of writing from the inside, I can understand the feeling excitement and anxiety of preparing my work for the world to read. I already know the pitfalls of revising, of working under strict deadlines, and constantly doubting my own skills. Not that all of these hurdles must be faced by everyone, but they are some of the basics. The next big leap in the future will hopefully land me with a book bound, printed on paper (or on a screen) with my name on it. I have the pleasure of meeting many published authors in my first residency of my master’s program.
What is even more exciting is that my fellow colleagues are being published even before the program is finished.
Be sure to check out their published works below:
This increase in publishing has surrounded me with a boatload of optimism and one seemingly unimportant question. What will it feel like to have your work published for the first time? Ideally, the answer should be elation, joy, gratitude, happiness. However, the act of getting your work published is typically not easy. Louisa May Alcott was forced to change her ending and betray her characters to appease publishers. These days, if you jump through the hoops necessary to publish the traditional way, you may find yourself in need of several consultants to show your book is worth reading. Web designers, twitter accountants, and marketing agents are some of the few necessities that accompany being published right now. You have to be your own promoter. This makes the daunting task of getting the word out much more difficult than just simply writing the book.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to go 15 kinds of crazy when my first book is delivered to my house “fresh off the press.” I know that no matter what the cost (tears, money, and especially blood) I will be published. I want to reach people and share with them the joy that books have given me my entire life. At the same time, I have to be willing to sacrifice a whole lot more once my baby has been published. It’s a completely different job before and after publishing because you have to be a separate person from the writer of the story. Although that is not always a bad thing. I am excited and nervous for all parts of the process, especially for the first time. Even the rejection letters will be greeted with a smile. That badge of honor will be accepted with a slice of humble pie and a tall glass of get back to work. As I work diligently to perfect each story, I look forward to the day I can post on here, facebook, and twitter that I will now be promoting my book tour instead of working on my next homework assignment.
What are your hopes and fears about publishing? Share them here and happy reading/writing!