I wrote a novel. Now what?

It’s finished! It’s done! It’s on Amazon! Hurrah! Open the champagne! Does all that red wine I drank while I was writing it count?

There is no celebration. I don’t throw a party, and no one surprises me with one. Cue violins…

After much, much work, the damn thing is done. I finally hold the printed copy in my hand. There is a feeling of accomplishment, but also terror. I open it to a random page and notice that one sentence is missing a the. Even though I’ve been over it with a fine-tooth comb about twenty times, I’m sure there are more embarrassing errors. But then I’ve found similar ones in every Donna Tartt novel I’ve read. That thought comforts me, a little.

I send a copy to my mother. I warn her about the explicit content. She says she’s curious to see what’s really going on inside my mind. A few days later she says it’s a good idea I used a pen name. I shyly drop a copy off at my local bookstore. I meet a writer who tells me all about her book. I listen politely and forget all about mine. I run into a neighbor who tells me another neighbor has also written a book. It seems I’m surrounded by writers. You need to push yourself my husband tells me as we walk away. I’m quiet for the rest of the stroll, thinking about this friend of a friend who sent me a copy of his book to read and how I ended up blocking him because he became so aggressively persistent. Nothing is more annoying than the ABC (Always Be Closing) personality. To me, anyway. Perhaps that’s part of my resistance.

I spend an entire day where I should be writing the next novel (first draft is done thanks to NaNoWriMo) sending overly polite emails to bloggers asking them to please review my book (I feel like I’m begging and that’s not a good feeling). It reminds me that I have a book I promised to review gathering dust in my Kindle. I feel worse.

I scan blog after blog offering advice on how to market books. I notice several are from authors who wrote their own books on how to market books. Nice little side biz, I suppose, but if they are so busy blogging and writing advice books when do they find the time to write the twelve novel titles lining their sidebars? These people seem so peppy and positive. Their energy depresses me. I realize I suck at marketing, of selling my own work. It’s a cop-out. I’m experiencing resistance. Whatever.

Creating is hard work, but it can be exhilarating, inspiring! The postpartum depression that comes afterward is anything but. I realize that I have the creativity, the imagination, the discipline, and the will to conceive and complete a work, but when it comes to the selling part…that’s an entirely different art and one of which I’m woefully inept.

But hey, I’m willing to learn.

I take off the baggy sweatpants I’ve been living in for the past months, stand before my full-length mirror and realize with joy that sitting with my ass in a chair for hours on end for months and months while I wrote this thing did wonders for my girlish figure–not!

Today I decide to not think about writing or marketing my new book and take my flabby ass on a long hike and just get away from this stuff for awhile. When I return, my book with the missing article will still be there, and I will feel (hopefully) physically better, my mind cleared of some of the muck, ready to tackle the next challenge.

Oh yeah, here’s my book… 🙂

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