On June 6, 2023, LMBPN Publishing released my first novel, First Casualty, to the world as an E-book. I am a published novelist. What a huge step! And I am thankful and excited.
And yet, I didn’t feel any different.
I got up and worked at being a writer, same as every day.
I love the cover art. I love seeing the book in newsletters, social media and the digital marketplace. I’m learning to love talking about myself as a writer and about my books.
I’ve heard from people who have purchased the E-book and are enjoying my writing. Some of them didn’t know I was a writer until I started working to change that, which didn’t happen until I had a release date.
But I still didn’t feel any different.
How is it that life-changing or potentially life-changing events don’t make you feel different? Is it because you are still who you are?
I think of the people I’ve lost. They are gone and I’m devastated. But the world continues on unchanged, as if it doesn’t even notice the difference.
I retired from my career in the printed circuit industry last year. One day I was working, the next I wasn’t. I barely noticed the change. The commute was shorter, but I didn’t miss going or doing the work. Probably because I immediately filled the void with the other activities I had going at the time.
Maybe that’s the key: fill your life with things you enjoy and love, and when a change comes, shift your focus just a little and keeping doing the things you enjoy and love. The things you are no longer doing become harder to miss.
Not that the losses do not exist; they always will. And you will have to grieve the losses and possibly the changes, especially if what you lost was something you enjoyed and loved. But maybe you can distract yourself a bit so the losses are not so overwhelming. They’re just mixed into what you love and enjoy and are part of the journey. They are an alteration instead of a roadblock.
Maybe I’ll feel differently as a published novelist when the paperback version comes out and I can touch it, hold it, smell it, fan through the pages, when it becomes tangible.
But I doubt it. Because I still need to get up and do the work.
I need to work the marketing of First Casualty. I need to work on the next book. And I need to continue the rest of the work that makes up life, like family and friends, the house and being a responsible world citizen.
As for today, I need to keep moving, celebrate milestones and keep writing. But I don’t need to mow the lawn. I did that last night.