Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My FIRST IWSG Post!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog.

I'm super-happy to finally be a part of the IWSG. It's been a long time coming, and I feel like I need to vent my fears BIG TIME and just put it out there.

My debut novel is set for a January 6th publication, and I'm terrified. My writing career has been a long, strange journey. It's strange to be on the precipice of such a huge landmark, and I think I've just gotten so accustomed to the struggle.

For about twelve years, I advised and edited other people's work. I was damn good at it (still am), and I enjoyed it. When I started blogging in 2005, it was my creative outlet. And my blog got HUGE, which led to a syndicated podcast attached to the blog. It was fun, but I felt unfulfilled. I yearned to write again.

So I did.

In 2011, my novel, Dragonfly Warrior, was my baby. And I threw it out into the world. I was in query hell. Then I had the opportunity to pitch to a publisher face to face. The result was a contract. But the publisher shut its doors in mid 2012.
Steam-powered spider from Dragonfly Warrior!


I was down, but not out. Another publisher knew of my manuscript and I received two contracts - one for Dragonfly Warrior and another for its sequel, Shadow Warrior. I was part of a great team of writers, and everything was looking great.

But the publisher was having financial issues, and I decided to jump ship. I got my rights back and I decided that no one was going to care about my work more than me. So I decided to go full-on indie.

So here I am, a little more than a month away from publishing Dragonfly Warrior (AGAIN), and what if people don't like it? What if it never finds its audience? What if it's not sci-fi enough? Fantasy enough? Steampunk enough?

I've had some writing friends suggest I have a book launch party, but I've decided not to. I'm not sure many people would show up. My friends and family are not into reading the kind of stuff that I write, and I don't want them to feel obligated to buy my book. Maybe if I had written something more mainstream...but I can't handle any more rejection at this point.

There are moments where I lay awake at night, wondering if I'm just delusional. Maybe I should just go back to editing. Hide behind another person's work and share in their joy and triumph instead. Life was so much easier!

At this point, I have no choice but to leave my comfort zone. Hopefully it will be worth it. But I guess even if I fall flat on my face, and I'm a big fat FAILURE, I don't see myself just giving up. Maybe I'm too stubborn.

33 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome to the IWSG!!! Glad you finally decided to join us.
You had several publishers say it was great and want to publish it. So you know it's good. And next month, you get to sent it out there for all the world to enjoy. Believe in it, Jay!

Rusty Webb said...

I understand those fears. Sounds like it's going to be successful. But even if it isn't, numbers wise, if you have something you are proud of then that's all you can ask for.

I, for one, am excited to read it when it's released.

DEZMOND said...

leaving the comfort zone is often the best thing you can do for yourself

Eric Buffington said...

Jay! I'm so happy that you are getting your book out in January! It's a scary time, I think your post is similar to mine this month, but the more I read this month's posts, the more I'm seeing that at least if I'm terrified that people won't like the work, I'm in really good company.
All the best!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I had some similar fears when I self published my flash fiction collection…and to be honest, I still have some of them, plus a few new ones. :) But I am still so glad I did it. The support and reviews I've received from the blogging world has been and continues to be amazing. Your book is already "enough," Jay. :)

Oh, and I love that steam-powered spider in the pic!

Pat Dilloway said...

Good luck with your book! It's hard selling books whether you're indie or not.

Marilyn Parel said...

Congrats to you! We all stumble and fall. But look to the successes you've already had. Lord knows, I'm still wandering around trying to find my writing place and voice. That's one reason the ISWG is a good place to be. Welcome!

Tony Laplume said...

Good that you had such luck finding publishers. Bad that the publishers had such a hard time living up to expectations! Good luck with the release!

Cherie Reich said...

Welcome to IWSG!

Good luck with your book! There are a lot of things out of our control, but I'm sure you did the best work you could with the book. Its audience is out there.

Nissa Annakindt said...

You may feel insecure, but it sounds like your book is ready for publication and so many indie books are not. Even if it takes you a few books to find your audience, they are out there.

I won't say 'good luck' because it sounds like you have something better than 'luck' going for you. I'm following your blog now, by the way.

Nissa

farawayeyes said...

Better to know you tried, eh? That said, I'm pretty sure you are NOT going to be a big fat failure. Take some deep breaths and give it time. I do believe there is a reason you had to go through so much to get this story out there. Just let it happen.

Robin said...

Welcome to the IWSG:)

It is horribly scary just having another person read your book. To throw it out into the world... I can't even imagine right now. However, I hope to know one day;)

You have gone through so much to birth this baby. It's time to trust in it. I do believe it will all be okay.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Dragonfly Warrior is a kick ass book! And welcome to IWSG. I'll be posting a five star review of it very soon.

mooderino said...

As Alex says the response you got means at the very least it's a solid,commercial piece of work. There are no guarantees but I don't think you could have done anymore. Whether this approach will work isn't something you can control and if you'd gone another way you;d be just as much a hostage of fat. The important thing is that you made the decisions that counted and the experience, good or bad, will be invaluable for your next book.

regards,
mood
Moody Writing

Patricia Lynne said...

Those are some pretty big fears. Ones every writer shares when they debut their first book. Be proud that you did it. Your baby is out in the world to fly or fall and that's awesome.

M Pax said...

You've had quite the road getting to here, Jay. I'm excited that your book is finally seeing the light of day. I want to read it.

You should do a virtual launch... the touring blogs and the like. I'll help you with promo.

David P. King said...

Your novel has everything I would love, so I can't wait to check it out! :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

I'm sure that knowing multiple publishers wanted your story should help you but I know we always question ourselves. Just let it be. People will like it or they won't. We can't control that. Best of luck. Keep writing.
Heather

Melanie Schulz said...

You're too committed to back away now! Besides what would you say to all of us who are anxiously waiting to read your book?

River Fairchild said...

Welcome to the IWSG! Being nervous/scared/filled with dread/ just means you care. Going indie means you're taking charge of your path. There's no one else to take the fall for you. The thing is, you KNOW you write well. People you trust have told you it's kick-ass. Relax. Hit the damn "publish" button and take a swig of bourbon. It'll be fine. :D

River Fairchild said...

Oh, and take Mary up on her offer. She REALLY knows what she's doing with promo!

Julie Dao said...

Welcome to IWSG! It takes a lot of courage to be a writer. It sounds silly to say that (and possibly arrogant because I am an aspiring writer), but I think it's really true. Books are part of ourselves that we throw to the wolves... and there are a LOT of wolves out there. Not just the mean ones who rip our stuff up with sharp teeth, but the ones who don't care and don't support us (and should). So I think you should own it. You're an excellent writer and you're part of a gigantic blogging community full of support and people who believe in each other. And your book is going to kick ass.

Jay Noel said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I just ordered some proofs of my paperback, so I've come too far to back away now!

Rhonda Albom said...

Welcome to IWSG. I am pretty new as well, and only on my first draft. You sound like you have done well so far, no reason success won't continue. Plus now you have this group in your pocket and an offer of help above from someone who knows what she's doing.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Perseverance, sometimes called stubbornness, is the number one characteristic of successful people. Glad to have you part of IWSG.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You can't keep a good book down. Keep believing in it, Jay.

Welcome to the IWSG!

Crystal Collier said...

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.” --From John Greenleaf Whittier. LOVE this quote because it points out a fatal flaw in our thinking: you can't fail if you've never tried, but you can regret never getting out there. =) You've got an audience for sure and based on the response from readers on my blog, I'd say it's a pretty strong one. It will definitely take time to gather them and build your following, but it's going to be epic. =)

Mark Koopmans said...

Wow Jay... what a journey... I bet you'll be able to write your own memoir one of these days - and I'm sure it would be a very interesting story :)

Super GOOD LUCK with the release and if you are doing any type of official announcement and need some help - just let me know :)

Mr. Shife said...

Wow. This post hits super close to home. I just got my book mock up from the designer and starting getting all those feelings that you described in your post. I just feel like saying the hell with it because you know I gave it a good shot. Anyway, best of luck Jay, and I know this are all normal feelings but you will be just fine. Your book looks amazing and you have a great support system.

Jeremy Bates said...

good luck with the debut, jay!

Jay Noel said...

Rhonda: Thanks so much. I look forward to getting to know new people here.

Susan: Yes, I guess I'm too stubborn for my own good!

Crystal: I appreciate all of your help!

Mark: Yeah, it's bee a long rough road. But it's been worth it.

Shife: I think we both got serious about our writing around the same time, so it's always good to know I'm the only one on this journey.

Jeremy: Thanks, man!

Phats said...

Good Luck!! I am sure it will do great :) I respect all of you guys whose blogs I read that are writers

J.L. Campbell said...

Good luck. You already have a large following so you can try and find ways to make that work for you. I know I feel vulgar trying to peddle my work, but it's part of being an indie writer. Have fun too. That helps when trying to get the word out.

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