I have been in a rather strange mind-set these days. I feel like I am hovering. I am gazing forward and looking at the options that are presently set before me and while each begins with a certain vision, each path ultimately fades into a future that has not yet been determined. Now the decision has to be which path represents my truth.
I had a conversation with a woman whom I know not too long ago and she asked me what I hope to gain by publishing my book. I rattled on about wanting to be accepted as a good writer, someone who is good at her craft. Of course, in my humble wisdom, making money wasn’t important and yet I did want it to be successful. I did want to connect with people through the book.
I have been thinking about that conversation because as I grow closer to publication I really have to ask myself, very honestly, what I hope comes from the release of the book. Of course I want it to be successful. Show me a writer that doesn’t want their published work to be received well. The book is a memoir and so I have an intimate and emotional connection to the story that I am telling.
So I thought about the release of it, and envisioned it disappearing amongst the hundreds of thousands of other books out there. Lost in obscurity. Read perhaps by a handful of people. And I asked myself how that would make me feel. In truth, I didn’t feel badly. Not at all. Some of the best books I have read have been those obscure titles that I have come across in a used book store. The author is not known and yet the words they have penned hit their mark.
Quite often too, the books that do well and become bestsellers are not necessarily well written. So it comes down to marketing the product. I can quietly release the book and watch it fade to black or I can market the hell out of it. Yet another aspect of this publishing quest that needs to be developed. I suppose sometimes a book will catch on and go ‘viral’ as we now describe something that gains success publicly, something that just catches the public interest at that particular time.
A friend told me I didn’t have to publish it. And no, I don’t have to publish it but I want to.
I have learned so much in this last year since I made the decision to write and publish this book and yet my knowledge in this sect is in its infancy. There is a part of me that is quite excited and there is a part that is terrified. I have been told that I am brave for offering this story to the reading public. This is a statement I find rather curious. I really think anyone who puts their creative self out there has a strength of character to be admired regardless of whether you enjoy the work being presented or not.
And this got me to thinking about the reasons why artists, musicians, photographers, writers, actors, etc. do what they do. I can’t speak for everyone of course, but for myself personally I have a deep love of the written word. Oh, I have a deep love of all the arts but writing is where I found my expression, my extension of self. The written word can tell you far more accurately what this heart is feeling than the words falling from my lips ever could.
Far too many times the words were swallowed and not given the voice they sought. Ah, but the pen spewed forth all the fears and hopes of this woman.
At the end of the day, I hope I can connect on some level. Will it touch someone? Help them? Give them hope? I don’t know. For me the publication will be a release of sorts.
It is a grey and wet day here in Vancouver. On days like this you would not know we have a spectacular mountain range half hour from the downtown core of the city. When we are shrouded in cloud, it feels a bit gloomy at times. I have heard tourists comment that they just ‘don’t get’ why everyone thinks Vancouver is such a beautiful city. Then the sun comes out and the clouds dissipate and they are in awe at her beauty.
Why do I bring this up? Not everything is as it seems. So this is what I am gazing at before me now. Which path do I move toward that when the clouds lift will fill me with wonder. This next move on the chessboard of life is an important one and if I need to take a little extra time, then I will. And this decision will be made by what is in my heart, not in my head. That is the only way I will find my truth.
Enjoy your Monday!