I spent about five years, as a new author, being upset that my book was getting no notice, no reviews, no attention from publishers. And that is frustrating. I spent a few years on writing and perfecting it. It was a solid story, so why did people not read it? The answer was simple: I was marketing like crap and I was new and untested and I was impatient. But you can't know that when you're new to the scene. You can't know that it takes years to build an audience. It takes patience and investment into your audience.
Now, I'm not famous. I'm not even a blip on the radar, but I'm getting fans. That's exciting. And a little strange and kind of...I don't know weird. I want people to read my books. I've been wanting that. Now I'm getting people emailing me, asking for sequels and prequels and more information about my characters. And I fear that I sound like an idiot when I answer because I'm embarrassed by the attention. And I'm worried I'll let them down with my additions, and that REALLY bothers me. Fear of failing them has become my new worry.
And it's all so strange. All the time I put into making stories, all the time I put into engaging people, and now I'm feeling so strange about getting attention for those things. I know this is a shared experience. Other writers who are finally getting a following have talked to me about their fears, the pressure they feel to do just as well or better. And a lot of them feel like impostors. I don't have a point to make here. I just think writers are weird, and I'm weird.
I feel like an impostor, and I don't like that. I do love writing. I like making weird stories and recording them and making art for them. I just freeze when I'm asked about them. It's because I'm weird. Not because I don't like hearing from you, cool readers. And I'm sorry for that. I'll try to act normally, but I probably won't. I I live half my life, if not more, in other worlds, being other people, and it's always made me a little self-conscious. And a lot weird.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.