Having thick skin is part of being a writer. It doesn’t take too many rejections and you find yourself not talking about one of your favorite activities. When you do learn that someone wants to publish one of your pieces, you tell your writer friends but you don’t tell anybody else. It might be a fluke, a mistake, an accident. It might be your last.
So you put your copy on a shelf, list the success on your resumé or more likely, in the day of electronic publication, add the link to the resumé that no one will likely read even if they ask for it, and move on to your next chance to be rejected.
You learn not to tell your family and non-writer friends that you are writing every day because they haven’t rejected you yet. And they might once you tell them you’re creating and living in a fantasy world that could implode or die with you before it becomes real. You’re just another nutcase, like that one uncle who hoarded snuff tins or the aunt who collected cats.
No, I don’t believe I had either of those. But you hear stories.
And sometimes you think the whole world is crazy, so why would you admit you are too?
Back in January, which seems like a long time ago, I signed my contract for the first three books in the Psychic Guardian Angel Series and started telling people. Actually, I hesitated, expecting to do something to mess it up and finding myself rejected once more. But I started by telling people closest to me. And heard too often, “I didn’t know you wrote.”
Yep. You didn’t. Because I never admitted it. I’ve always called myself a writer. But never admitted it to the larger public.
As we moved further into the process and closer to publication, I started talking about the contract and the books. And it was difficult. I still couldn’t believe it was real and worth broadcasting.
But time and the process continued on. I approved cover art on First Casualty. I went through the first round of edits. I approved cover art on No Rest for the Dead and Flying Objects. I went through a second round of edits on First Casualty.
And I learned a lot. Not all publishers want to receive a book like all the workshops and experts tell you. You need to start the publicity machine way back when, like before the contract is signed. Social media doesn’t work like you think it should. Web pages are simple to create until you try to do it. And expectations are high. Especially your own.
Family and friends were more excited than I was, thought being a signed author with a book coming out was huge. It is. But I was still afraid of something going wrong and the whole thing ending before it began.
Friends and family began to insist on a party. I can party okay, not as well as many, but I don’t know how to party when it’s about me. And this was. Or more correctly it was about my book. Which made it about me.
I began to research book release parties. It turns out there as many ways to release a book as there are to write one. But we borrowed some of the best ideas, planned a bash and it was way bigger than I could have imagined.
It was getting close and I didn’t have books. I began to sweat. “Let’s have a toast to something that will happen someday.” It didn’t have the right ring to it.
The books arrived with three days to spare and looked great. Yay, it was okay to proceed with the party.
And I was overwhelmed. The turnout was more than I could have hoped, the interest in First Casualty was immense. I was awestruck, amazed and humbled. I still get as emotional as I’ve ever let anybody see when I think about it.
So, thank you all for the positive response to my admitting to being a writer. For all the positive things I’ve heard after people read First Casualty. Thank you for accepting Jacob Daniels into your world the way you accepted me. Thank you for letting me be a writer. I am blessed.
And if you’re a creative person, don’t be afraid to admit it. Your biggest supporters are all around you.
Love to all. Stay hopeful.