Today’s the day! I am now officially an author.
How does it feel?
It’s actually a little difficult to say.
As thrilled as I am, there’s a whirlwind of other emotions going through me. I’ve been so focused on just getting the book released, doing the worst part of authorship (that is, marketing and logistics), that the end of this sprint towards publication did not build the pure excitement one would expect.
I got this book for Christmas a couple years ago specifically to help myself cope with this process, this moment of truth where I present my work to the world. It’s called Mortification, and it goes through horror stories with publication. It’s designed kind of like Jersey Shore or Vanderpump Rules: so that the viewer can say, “you know, I thought I had problems, but this really brings things to scope.”
An example: One author has a reading of his new book of poems at a book store. The attendance is low and the reading goes poorly. At the end, he notices one of his brand new books are already on the ‘Used’ shelves. He opens it up and finds his handwritten inscription, “To Mom and Dad.”
It’s easy to get caught up in all the expectations. Although I am very proud and confident in my book, I still need to get it into the right hands. Joseph Conrad is considered one of the greatest authors of all times, but in my hands, he is frankly a bore. Similarly, there are bound to be great readers who will not appreciate my book.
At the same time, my 18-year-old cat, Mushu, passed away yesterday. Every night, we’d cuddle together and he’d sleep between my legs. If I came in late, he’d be up waiting for me. He’d also poop wherever he wanted to and would constantly try and steal mac n’ cheese from my plate as I ate.
I am very fortunate in that I have not had to deal with much loss in my life; my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, and three out of four grandparents are still alive. And thankfully, my cat was treated like a Pharaoh and died relatively painlessly.
Nevertheless, it feels like I’ve grown up twice in the span of 24 hours. I have a book, and I lost my last childhood pet.
But like Mortification, this is an opportunity to step back and be thankful for everything in my life. Writing Specks of Dust has been a journey, and although I will still focus on it from a sales and promotion standpoint, there are no more alterations to the story for me to make. In many ways, although this book is now open to the world, it has left me and my protection.
But like with Mushu, it is worthwhile to appreciate that journey, remembering the care and devotion put into it, the discoveries I made along the way, and the confidence that I left both having done the best I possibly could. And that’s something to be very proud of.