Monday, 3 December 2012

Effort, exhaustion, and expectations

So I’ve finally completed and released Primae Noctis and the long period of waiting begins.  Everyone I know who has ever penned a novel has tried to prepare me for this step, and I’m coming to terms with their sage advice every day.  They tell me to keep a cool head, and in the end, eventually your efforts will reach some point of public acknowledgement: for better or for worse.  

Criticism and reviews don’t frighten me.  It doesn’t bother me if people find things about it that they don’t like or if the novel simply does not appeal to them.  My greatest fear is that the book will remain undiscoverable in the constant and uninterrupted flows of media that makes its way to market.  

My greatest fear is that no one will ever know that the novel is out there.

Aside from sending scores of ‘Request for Review’ emails and regular postings on Twitter and Facebook about the novel, I feel as though there is little else I can do except wait and hope.  Primae Noctis is not a quick read, and I know that it could take more than a month for most people to get through the nearly 700 pages of dialogue and story.  Critical reviews and word-of-mouth are what I need more than anything else.  Not that a few more sales would hurt.

I hope that I have performed due diligence and done everything I could to ensure the quality of the finished eBook and paperback.  I hope that I have not been overly ambitious or hopeful in expecting adult readers to embrace a new, independent sci-fi author in a market that teems with the hormone-laden angst of Young Adult offerings.  At 40 years old, I hope I have not waited too long to try to launch a career as an author, and hope that my optimism is tempered enough to deal with potential rejection by the market.

Primae Noctis has been an all-encompassing dream that has taken every active, available measure of energy out of my life for the past two years.  It broke my bones, sucked the marrow dry, and discarded me with nary an afterthought.  I know that I need to keep strong and to persist in my efforts to market and spread the word about the novel, but strength is lacking and resolve has faded somewhat.  Not because I lack in hope, but because I am truly exhausted.

Of course the entire effort is equally exhausting for friends and family.  They have watched me go through the rollercoaster of upbeat and downswing throughout the entire process of writing.  Now that I’ve passed the finish line, many are wondering if I will stop running, or if the marathon that they’ve just witnessed is infinite.  They want to know if the race will ever end.  

I tell them “I don’t know”, and continue running.

So if you’re out there in cyberspace reading this weary blog, perhaps putting together your own novel or just having a look at what’s going on with one new author, I hope that you will choose to persist and to follow your own creative visions to their ultimate endpoints.  Exhaustion or not, I would still have produced Primae Noctis and spent my energies to get it to market, even if I had the option of revisiting the decisions along the way.  

It simply needed to happen, and it found a way into existence. 

Want to have a free preview of my novel Primae Noctis? 
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