The other day I was scrolling down my facebook newsfeed (my morning ritual) when I stumbled across a picture of a man pushing a boulder up a mountain. I had to laugh out loud because that was the exact example I had been using to explain the process of promoting! The picture was attached to Luke Roman’s blog post about rejection. Does every writer have the same feeling?
The actual writing is the blissful part. I can escape into a world that I created every day. Submitting to publishers, polite rejection letters and getting critiques to improve your craft can be a test of emotional toughness. In other words… being told how terrible your writing is over and over again until your skin is thicker than that leather jacket in your closet from the 80’s. If you continue to write after being run over by a snow plow in a gravel pit the passion must be there.
If you do get published, the mountain only gets bigger. Now you have to promote your work. What the heck! I write fantasy stories about giant bird/wizards and talking frogs. What do I know about promoting? The day my book was released I felt sick to my stomach. Wait… now I have to actually sell books? How am I going to do that? Half my neighbors don’t even know I exist. How in Gandalf’s name am I going to tell the world to buy my book? The mountain just kept growing; and so did the nausea.
Then came the reviews. Yeah, that whole sick to my stomach thing… I felt like all my vital organs were doing the Macarena through my ribcage after only slightly skimming through one review. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle criticism. It comes with the territory; but now the snow plow is running me over in front of an audience.
On the other hand, when someone has something nice to say… now, this is where the boulder can really hurt. I don’t dare take a moment to enjoy a good review in fear that the boulder will roll right back over me smashing my face in the dirt. The fun factor in chasing a rolling boulder down a mountain with dirt in my eyes is low.
I’m still learning about the publishing world. It can be frustrating, demoralizing, and a crushing blow to the ego. I have scraped my dignity off of the pavement so many times, I’m pretty sure it is paper thin and full of holes. Nothing wrong with a few holes… right? The funny thing is I am actually enjoying the experience. Meeting other writers and doing guest posts are a lot of fun! Most of all, I take comfort in the fact that I can still escape all of the craziness and write my fantasy stories.