Arn? Narn. has been out now for nearly four months. It’s been a wonderful period with much to be thankful for. Sales have been good, reviews have been even better, the Newfoundlanders who have seen it seem to like it. It’s all good. I just wanted to take some space on this post to share a few random thoughts in no particular order about what I experienced and expected while doing it.
What we want will never be on our time table. It’ll happen when it happens. Nine years from conception to market would not have been my idea of a good time table. But, it did happen. There are always too many things out of my control.
Gratification can come from the most unexpected place or person and in a most surprising fashion. Always be open to new ideas and experiences.
No matter how good the work is, it can always be better. No matter how bad you think it might be, it is always much better than that. At some point, you will have to let go and launch it.
Do not ever lose sight of your goal. Others may not “get it”. That’s OK. Actually that’s fine. There’s a real satisfaction in proving otherwise.
Be single-minded in your determination to make it happen. Discouragement will happen, probably more than you would like. But be on the lookout for signs. Throughout the process there were several “bites” on the book only to have them back off at some point. I learned from those that the book did indeed have merit. All I needed was fortitude.
Your book is not perfect no matter how hard you worked on it. Your publisher/editor will have ideas that can improve it. Really.
Take immense satisfaction that you will have accomplished what only a small fraction of authors set out to do.
Share freely and openly what you’ve learned with other aspiring authors. Why not?
Be humble, gracious, and thankful.
Start work on your next book as soon as you can.
Write a blog as a journal of your journey. It is a great reference for you and others. It helps keep alive and move the project along until eventual publication. You can build some audience anticipation with it as well.
Keep researching your subject even after the book is done. You will be asked questions that you may not have thought of while writing the book. Stay current. See above photo of Red’s Lounge. I learned only two weeks ago it is no longer open. It was the only bar on the island of Ramea.
Realize that your creativity cannot be turned off or on at will. In those times where nothing seems to come easy, don’t despair. It’s only temporary. And when it does come back and it will, what are a few lost hours of sleep compared to what you’re doing and accomplishing?
And one last note: shortly after my book came out, an acquaintance greeted me with “Well, here’s the author!?” I replied, “Please. An author?” They asked “Are you happy with it?” I, wanting it to have been perfect and seeing faults that no one else could, responded, “No. I wish I could have done it better.” Their reply, “Then you really are an author!” I hate know-it-alls!