Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Deal with Pre-Release Jitters 101

My perspective on writing and pre-publication jitters.
Or how I cope with publication anxiety.
(Photo copyright Meg Gichka | Can Stock Photo)

I have a confession… I'm dealing with pre-publication jitters. It's not the first time I've felt a twinge of anxiety (ha, twinge) before a book release. With this new launch, however, I feel like I'm back to square one--er--book one. It's curious. I've published a bunch of books... So why now? Maybe it's because I'm writing in a new genre (actually an "old" genre, since I started out writing sweet historical romance). So in a sense I'm starting from scratch, because these books aren't YA.

Whatever the reason, I've been feeling a tad stressed lately. I'm moving forward, making my deadlines, doing what needs doing, but I'm having to work through these feelings. Praying. Breathing. Trying to get perspective.
And since I'm a very visual person, I came up with this mental image the other day of what publishing is like:

I'm like this girl (above). I'm really just making paper flowers and setting them out in the water. Maybe it's a lake, maybe it's a river…but I'm picturing waterlilies. People (readers) find my flowers out there on the water. That's my hope anyway. Whether they like them or not is really out of my control. Well, mostly. I do my best to create the best stories I can. I try to make sure my paper flower is "pretty" -- i.e. it's a story that hangs together, beginning to end, with characters I love. I care about quality. I care about editing and proofreading. I care about professional presentation, etc..

In the end, it's a book. I made it. I like it. ;)

But not everyone sees things the same way, right?

To "my reader" -- aka the people who "get" me -- my book is a flower. They like it. They thinks it's pretty. Maybe.They enjoy it and maybe start looking around in the water for more flowers. Awesome. Perfect.

But then there are these other people who frown and say, "That's not a flower. Besides, what I really wanted was a hamburger." Or a basketball. Or whatever. :)

Those just aren't my readers.

It's fine, really. Honestly. I get it. I don't like everything I read either.

I don't know how many readers I have out there. (Helllooooo, readers! How are you?) I hope you find my paper flower floating in the water and you think it's "pretty." Entertaining. Moving. Heartwarming. Whatever it is you're looking for in a book. And I hope it didn't get too soggy in the water. :)

For those who don't like it (shrugs), it's okay. I hope you find your hamburger. I really do.

Image © Michael J. Bennett | Wikimedia Commons
So, help me out here -- how do you cope with the jitters and stress?


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