I recently released my first book (well, a short story), Birthday Girl, into the big, bad world. People from far and wide are now able to see it on the online platforms of Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Though it’s only a short book (approx. 9k), it’s still a book, and everyday since I’ve had to pinch myself that something I produced is available for people to buy, read and enjoy.
When I embarked seriously on my writing journey six years ago, I used to think when I became a published author, publishing that first book would be the end of the line. I never thought about what life would be like after publishing that first book. This is probably because I’ve spent the last six years writing, re-writing, editing and then re-writing my novel, Rogue Bloodline (which may or may not ever be ready to publish). The dream of publishing seemed so out of reach all those years ago. And back then, I thought the only way to become a published author was to be traditionally published. But as they say, times are a changing.
Why has it taken me six years to finally hit the publish button? The honest answer is because the thought of publishing anything made me sick with worry. Putting your book out there means people will get a glimpse into your mind. What if they hate your book and your characters? What if they give you a bad review? What if it fails miserably and no one buys a copy? There seemed to be so many ‘what if’s.’ I finally got to the point where I’d had enough of my own self-doubt. It was starting to eat away at me. If I lived my life constantly thinking ‘what if,’ I’d probably never leave the house.
It may seem small, but I’m proud to say I published something. And that means I’m now an author. For writers out there who are facing their own fears about publishing their book, my only advice is it’s okay to be scared and apprehensive. Take note of those feelings and acknowledge them for what they are. Feelings. They will pass. It’s okay to be worried, but it’s also important to be brave. Because at the end of the day, you won’t feel any better about hiding your book in a drawer. And in the wise words of Fred Devito, ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.’ Whatever it is in your life that you fear, don’t be afraid to push yourself and stand up to those challenges you’ve been too scared to face.
And in regards to Birthday Girl, it’s been slow off the ground. I’ve sold a couple of copies here and there. And that’s okay. This is only the start of my journey. The most important lesson I can impart is that your writing career doesn’t begin after one book. You need to keep writing and creating content. At first, Birthday Girl was just an experiment. It was an opportunity to dip my toe into the self-publishing world and see what it was like. I never intended for it to become anything more than just a short story. But people (not just my mum), contacted me to say they wanted to know what happens to Angie and Liam after Birthday Girl. So, I’m excited to announce there’ll be two follow-up books to Birthday Girl and will come under what I’ve titled, The Birthday Romance Series. The next two books will be novella length (approx. 20,000 words each) and will follow Angie and Liam’s love story as they navigate some pretty tricky events. Birthday Boy, the next instalment, is due for release in early August 2018. And if you get to read the series, I hope enjoy it because I’ve had a hell of a time writing it.
Until next time
Face those fears, my friend. And good luck on your journey!