Yesterday was release day for Deadworld. It hit the shelves in many places. It’s officially out there for the world to see, read, and judge. It’s at once scary and exciting. You hope readers will enjoy it and want to read the next book. Some will, and some won’t. That’s the simple fact of publishing. I certainly hope more people will than won’t, but I have little control over that. I can only keep writing and try to write good stories folks will want to read. I’ve effectively reached then end of stage 1 of my writing career. It was a long stage, about 30 years if you want to start from when I first began writing stories. The goal now: maintain and build.
The effort and work does not stop now that I’m on the shelves. If anything, it’s even more involved and more work. Before it was mostly just me. I wrote when I wanted. I had nothing looming over my head to penalize me if I didn’t. Now I have a contract and deadlines. I’m responsible to others for my writing to some degree. People have given me money to write stories. Readers who will check out Deadworld will want and expect to see the story continue and eventually conclude. My writing world has expanded greatly, and to achieve continued success, I need to work at continually expanding that world. It’s a different ballgame now, and I better be ready to step it up, because there’s nothing that says I won’t be booted back to stage one again if I don’t make it here. Hopefully, I’m prepared.
I need to be prepared to write, to write a lot and to keep writing. For success to happen, readers need to see me on a regular basis. As a reader, I know I hate it when I have to wait two years for a sequel to something. While life can sometimes interfere, my feeling is, readers should be able to see something from an author within a year, and preferably sooner. I need to be prepared to be both modest and humble. I need to be able to say, “this is a good story, you should read it,” and accepting the fact that some of you just won’t. It’s possible to be a good writer that’s just not right for everyone. Have to be gracious to those who don’t. They read your book, gave you their time and consideration, and just didn’t like it. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Clean up the crumbs and move on. And no, you can’t just brush them off as saying they don’t know what they’re talking about. For them, the do. Respect their opinions. I need to keep trying to get my name out there, and let readers know who I am and that I’m here. You can’t get read if nobody knows who you are. Can’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
This next step is going to be fun, exciting, and hard. Even with all of the waiting and frustration of stage one, it’s going to feel easy by comparison. The reward however, should I be able to make this all work, will be sooo worth it. Immeasurable, really.