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Pre-Publication Anxiety

I finished my first novel twelve years ago.  I have been trying to get published since then, collecting around two hundred rejections for my six novels.

My novel To The Last Drop will be published on April 21st.  I certainly hope that this is the beginning of a long writing career.  Everything I endured is about to be justified.

And yet, I'm unsettled.  Because my publisher is so small, I've been working on promotions and scheduling book readings.  Together with re-vamping my novel's website, these tasks have kept me busy.  Tomorrow I'll be attending the New Mexico Filmmaker's Conference, trying to pitch the screenplay adaptation of To The Last Drop.  All this is assuredly necessary, but it feels awful.  

The business side of writing is new to me, and bold self-promotion isn't among my few strengths.  It all seems so insincere.  And it's tedious.  Lord, it is tedious.

There's more to my uneasiness.  It is difficult to admit, but I am nervous.  I am worried that no bookstores will carry my book, I am frightened that no one will review my book, I am anxious that no one will even know that my book has been published.  

This is probably a natural way to be, but it's such an alien strain of stress that sometimes I find there's nothing I can do but listen to The Who's Live At Leeds at toothache volume.

I want to be writing.  I've only been able to chip away at my new novel, The Object:  a love story.  I need to dive into my writing and stay immersed.  Eight hours of writing, six days a week ... that would cure me.  But I can't right now, my published book needs me.  And so I'll grind on a bit longer.

"The true conqueror is he who is not conquered by the multitude of the small."  -- Chuang Tzu 

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Damn the torpedos and full

Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead, that's all that counts.

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How it feels

Hi Andrew, I know how it feels. We all know, in fact. I guess the wiser thing is to try to be yourself and not be exposed more than you want to. It's probably not the best time to write, because your energy will be elsewhere for a while. Try to enjoy it, but when it is too much for you, go back to yourself and keep a distance from what is happening. It is good for the soul, it is sincere and from the outside you will look like a mysterious, introvert writer. And the semiotics of writing prove that an introvert writer is the writer par excellence.Think of Thomas Pynchon... And good luck! amanda

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Andrew, congratulations on the publication of your novel.  How gratifying it must be after all of your hard work.  I am a writer (not yet in your position) & I have a friend in your position.  I am so happy for him and I bet you have a multitude of people surrounding you who are exuding that joy for you as well.  Perhaps that joy will placate the anxiety about being with a small publishing house.  Enjoy every moment of your success.

Katherine McWilliams