Though I have only done it once, I can already tell you with great certainty that publishing your own book is a very strange feeling. Having spent countless hours writing, re-writing and tweaking your story until you feel it is at the very best it can be, you package it up into a neat little paperback and send it off into the world to be judged. Holding my book in my own hands was great but the thought of it also being in the hands of other people was very odd indeed.
This is where things took a rather unexpected turn for me however, as it is the positive feedback that has thrown me the most. Being the natural pessimist that I am, I automatically assume that anything I write will be loathed by anyone else who casts their eyes upon it, meaning that by the time I was ready to proceed with publication of my debut novella, The Vessel, I had almost prepared myself for people to hate it. Imagine my surprise and confusion when suddenly people were congratulating me and offering words of praise for the world and the characters I had created.
Only now that the dust has settled and the gut-wrenching nerves have subsided somewhat (I couldn’t even be in the same room as my own family when they read it at first), I can finally start to embrace the positivity and, little by little, continue to let other people into what was once my private world but is now, quite literally, an open book to be shared by anyone who happens to be at all interested. Though the content of books will forever be subject to personal taste and individual interpretation, this is what I love most about them and I can’t tell you how utterly invigorating it has been to find that some other people out there have shared in my original hopes for what The Vessel could be.
A strange feeling perhaps but one I certainly hope I’m lucky enough to experience again.