Being a writer is an awesome job. I get to make stories up, and people are usually amused by them and send me nice comments and reviews. It's a sweet gig, but I'm pretty new to the published writer business. That is, I've been writing my whole life, but just recently thought, Hmmmm, maybe other people would relate to this or find it worthwhile to read. So it came as a surprise to me how very sick of my debut novel I am. Do I think it's worth reading? Well, I've been honing it for five years, so it's probably as done as it will ever be, and most likely entertaining. Does it deal with cool stuff? Check. Does it delve into life's serious traumas. Double Check. Do I mind blogging or talking about those things? No, I enjoy that. I'm just sick of the book I just released. Physically and emotionally sick.
It surprised me that I became sick to my stomach the week of release. I'd previously released my book as a self-pub title, so I was unsure why it made me so physically ill to release it the second time, and I think I have an answer. I actually have a readership this time. I blogged, discussed, shared and crafted relationships with people, and now I care what they think of my book. I want them to relate to it. I want them to laugh and cry and be angry. I know I have people reading it this time, and that makes a pretty big difference. I respect my readers and I know I have them. My books doing well in Amazon rankings and that, for some strange reason, has made my stomach hurt worse. Eeek! People are buying it? What will they think?!
So why am I emotionally sick of a book that, for years, I've been passionate about getting to a wider audience? Because I've spent YEARS on it. Spending that amount of time on any one project is bound to make you a little tired of it. I mean, I've read it so many times that I could probably put on a play without a script, no problem. Please don't ask me to. Because I'm a ham, and I just might. I suppose editing made me look at my book differently, too. It made me see its imperfections, which is positive, but you can't unsee that stuff. Now, I'm still catching things that I wish were better, but it's out of my hands now. That should make me feel better, but it doesn't. I strive for perfection, and it's unobtainable. My book is proof of that. I suppose those are all good reasons to feel a little blah about it all.
Deep down, though, I know I still love this book. I know why I want people to read it. I think it's important, touching. It looks at big pictures in an entertaining way. It helped me evaluate where I was at when I wrote it, deep in postpartum depression. In giving my characters a chance for hope and redemption, it gave me the same hope.
But, still, I'm sick to death of it. Because it's time to move on. Move on to one of the six other projects I have in my mind, on napkins, in notebooks and in shitty first drafts. My mind longs for the new territory of stories untold. So, on to writing the next book. Before I do, however, I'd like to take a moment to be proud of writing a book that (deep down) I'm very happy with, no matter how done my body is with it.
Okay, I'm done. I'm gonna go write something else now. Thanks, debut book, for making me feel like I can write for readers. I'll still tell people to buy you, but don't ask me to read you again for a while. We need a break from one another.
H.M. Jones is the B.R.A.G Medallion author of Monochrome, re-released by Gravity, an imprint of Booktrope. She is also responsible for the Attempting to Define poetry quartet and has contributed a short story to Master’s of Time: A Sci-Fi and Fantasy Time Travel Anthology, "The Light Storm of 2015." A bestseller only in her mind, Jones pays the electric bill by teaching English and research courses at Northwest Indian College. Jones is also the moderator for Elite Indie Reads, a review website for Indie and Self published books. Besides buying enough second-hand books to fill a library, Jones loves to spend time helping her preschoolers grow into thinking, feeling citizens of this world, run, weave, pull with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family and attempt to deserve her handsome husband, who is helping pay the other bills until his wife becomes the next big thing.