Here we go again…
I had written and published dozens upon dozens of articles for blogs, websites and local magazines, as well as a couple of short stories but when the time came to officially send my debut novella off into the world I felt something I had never experienced before. This desire to protect my work; this longing to defend my characters; it was both exciting and terrifying in equal measures.
So now, around two months later, having already mapped out the plot for my next major effort, I am experiencing yet another new feeling. The names of characters and the events of the story have been circulating in my mind for some time but it feels increasingly as though my focus is shifting from the promotion of The Vessel onto the creation of this new project. Leaving behind the world I had thought of, written and spoken about for the best part of a year of my life and delving into that long and arduous process all over again for something entirely different; it feels like a betrayal as much as it does a blessing. A new experience perhaps but still both exciting and terrifying I suppose.
Most people have specific years that stand out as landmarks in their lives and for me, 2013 will definitely be one. It marked my official one year anniversary of working as a freelance writer and also saw the publication of my debut novella, The Vessel. Ultimately therefore, it felt like the first year where I was truly living out my dreams.
All I can ever hope for in 2014 is for my life to continue down the same path as it has been on for the past twelve months as I carry on trying to make a living doing what I love most. Happiness I hope and surprises I am sure; I look forward to it whatever it may bring.
What do you hope the following year will have in store for you?
The first time I held my own book.
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.