The thought of finally having your manuscript out in the world is both exhilarating and nausea-inducing. Something you’ve put so much energy, time, and maybe even some tears into (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything) is finally going to be available to the public. You’ll finally be a published author and while the thought of thousands of readers opening your book for the first time and starting the journey builds an indescribable sense of satisfaction in you, in the back of your mind there is doubt.
Because the truth is, not everyone is going to like your novel. Not everyone’s going to like my novel. It’s just how it is.
And while it’s nice to think you may have finally written the universal book, that’s a dream if I ever did see one. I mean, even Harry Potter with all its fandom has critics, reviewers who just weren’t satisfied with the final product. Perhaps, this is hard to believe because the series is so popular it seems to be adored universally and, maybe, it’s even your favorite series. But HP is not without some hate.
No book is.
If you’re like me, at this point in your thought process, you may be thinking “Oh, my green grapes! What if I publish my book and it’s a flop? What if everyone hates it? What if it gets the complete opposite reaction of HP?”
With the release of my novel roughly four to five months away (official release date coming soon), I’m plagued by these thoughts. I try to comfort myself by going through my publishing checklist which isn’t an actual list but more of an outline.
I remind myself of all the tasks I’ve completed on my publishing journey. I’ve had it edited twice, gone through the beta reading process, and ran through my manuscript several times myself. At this point, what more can I really do?
I decide to run through my beta feedback. Despite it being full of positives, I still wonder if they could be the outliers. What if they’re the only group of people who enjoy the novel I’ve been pouring myself into for years?
Still, what more can I really do?
My story is what it is.
That’s what I’ve been telling myself.
My story is what it is.
If I continue to ponder and worry over my story, I’ll never get it published.
Honestly, I think many writers fall into this trap. Their novel can be ready to go. They only need to hit the “publish” or “submit” button. So close…so close but–
“I’ll just look it over one more time.”
They end up looking it over several more times actually and the manuscript becomes a dusty word document on their computer.
I don’t want this to be me and I don’t want this to happen to my story. So, the way I’m looking at it, peeps, I really only have two choices:
(1) Hit publish for a novel that isn’t “perfect” and let the world at it.
(2) Keep it another year and continue “editing” it until it’s “perfect.”
Choice number one, please and thanks!
Don’t get me wrong. I am kind of terrified to put my book out there. In a way, publishing a manuscript is like baring yourself to the world–the not so great parts included. Still, I’d rather be bare to the world and honest with who I am than the destroyer of my own dreams.
Yes, people are going to criticize my novel.
Yes, some people are going to hate it.
Yes, I’ll probably receive at least a single one-star rating.
And yes, the world, especially the publishing world, can be a very nasty place.
But I didn’t write my story to hide it away on my computer. I wrote it to entertain and connect. I want people to read my story and be able to empathize with the main characters. I want them to see reflections of themselves in the story. I want them to be inspired to write their own stories and publish them!
And if I can do that with even one person, I think I’ve done something worth doing.
(Want to check out my latest YouTube video? Click here to learn why writing doesn’t have to be a solitary process.)