The triumph of typing THE END on a manuscript never gets old. In some instances it takes years to complete a novel, but even those who write fast generally spend several months homing in characterization, story pace, plots and sub-plots, pesky typos and inconsistencies…etc. For non-writers out there, it’s like tearing a mobile phone apart piece-by-piece. Reconstruction is ongoing. After months or years a writer says, “it’s time.” Meaning: they share every nook and cranny of their writing with the world, for better or worse. It takes commitment!
It is also scary-at first. The first book release speaks to a writers confidence in a big way. It’s a special time in life. There are those who are waiting to be inspired to write the book that’s in them; by the way, I’ve haven’t caught on to this saying because I’m not sure quite what having a book in you means. It doesn’t sound too pleasant. Anyway! Then there are those who DO.
For the ones who do, after a while, it’s less about the new book release feeling and more about fortifying their resources and energy for the next project. But I remember the first time I hit “publish” as a self-published author back in 2014. It was a proud moment (wow! This is happening!), a conflicted moment (I’ve double and triple-checked, but what if some minor detail makes someone hate it?), an elated moment (whoa, momma. My name is on this book cover. I own this. I love this. This is my destiny. Angry unicorns couldn’t stop me from writing), and a trillion other thoughts on top of it. Yet I don’t think anything can replace keeping a sense of humor as we write.
With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a saterical post to capture the humorous side of going through the emotions and thoughts of an author’s book release. This isn’t a meanspirited way of minimalizing the experience, just a lighthearted look into it. I can’t say for sure If I’ve actually gone through this, but to some extent, I have. 🙂 Enjoy!
How To Understand Your Author
Let’s say your author finally breaks through the first book-stage and they want to share the moment with you. The excitement of completing this year-long project makes their demeanor glow. They know it’s possible to keep the big news secret and wait until book-release day, but they trust you with thier pride. The hours, days, and months of writing, editing, and making time to connect with you and others-but they choose you. Aren’t you thrilled for them?
Left to their own vices however, the ingenuity and happiness of the moment isn’t wasted if you decline to be thrilled with them.
Your author may begrudgingly treat themselves to one too many McCafe’s and wear strange headdresses while using a rubber-knife as a lightsaber to illuminate their joy.
Or your author may, like this tired pup, seek comfort from a friend who will take time understand what an accomplishment it is to complete a book or project.
Authors who ruminate over perceived minimization can be pretty tough to re-train through positive reinforcement. They have special requirements for affirmation and acknowldgement. But deep down, they have a lovable side that is loyal to the end. (If the fictional character based on you makes it that far into the fiction novel they write.)
NEVER FEAR. Here are ways to CURB the odd and inconvenient behaviors of YOUR AUTHOR.
First: Offer congratulations to them and show happiness for their latest achievement. No matter how disgusted you are that they can go days at a time wearing PJs while working from home, remember: everyone, including you, puts their shirts on one arm-hole at a time.
Also-take a minute and remember dancing with your first crush, or attending a favorite concert, or the whiff of accomplishment of getting promoted. Times that feeling by 100. Set differences aside to forgive the bubble wrap (authors are the complete package, flaws and all!) and acknowledge their commitment to finishing their project or writing goals. This will win you mega points for being a great friend.
Next: Buy their book, tell them you’ll recommend it to others, and actually do it! Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Your author has the ability to give back in a big way to those who help them along the way. It could be signed book-merchandise, an advanced reading copy, or any number of creative ways-but authors rarely lack ungratefulness for support when they truly care about their professional growth!
Last: Expect to support them from a distance as they continue working on the next project. This may sound harsh at first, but the true nature of many creatives is to preserve as much energy for their art as humanly possible. This means when they are in intensive focus mode, leave them alone, but show support in little ways so they know you’re there. Chocolates, coffee, tea, hugs (for those who like to be hugged), are all acceptable ways to tame your writer when they aren’t intensely focused on their work. When they break out of their creative focus-bubble, you’ll be the first to know because they often reciprocate the support they receive from you (times 10.)
By following the steps above, you are sure to have a HAPPY AUTHOR.