Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for having published my book, Summerwind Magick. But now I’m dealing with post-publishing blues. I’m not seriously depressed, but after a monumental feat there’s a bit of coming down from the high a takes adjusting.
Even if you’re not a writer, I’m sure you can relate. Consider a time when you gave something your all. It could be a board presentation, a cake for your daughter’s birthday, or a surprise party for your best friend. You have certain expectations for your audience’s reactions that sometimes don’t match reality. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy the book has done as well as it has, but I know I can do better.
When I pushed the Publish button for Summerwind Magick, I wanted fireworks to go off. I wanted Oprah Winfrey–yes, her and not her assistant–to call and schedule an interview. After all, didn’t everyone know that I spent years working on this book? But the reality is pushing Publish is just the beginning.
The life of any writer (Trad or Indie) requires marketing and promoting your art. In fact, the creation of anything (your daughter’s cake or your best friend’s party) is only half the battle. You can’t prepare your best Black Forest Gâteau and not invite anyone to come enjoy it with you–unless you’re making it as a masturbatory feast.
It’s like Carolyn, the main character in Summerwind Magick. She’s loves singing. In fact, she’s quite good at it. But, she doesn’t like performing in front of people, especially front-and-center. Carolyn enjoys singing at the Maniacal Fringe, a New York City jazz club, but only after hours, when the owner lets her practice. After hearing that Carolyn went to the club again, her Tony Award-winning friend chastises her:
“Carolyn, did you…? Did you flick the clit on stage?”
“Peggy!” Her friend thought all performances were for the pleasure of others—anything else masturbatory.
Peggy threw her signature neck roll. “Well, I don’t care if you sang with the intensity of a fucking freight train all by your little lonesome with your pre-recorded tracks from Bruno. You need to sing like that in front of an audience. I know you can. I’ve seen glimpses of it.”
One of the core themes in the book is creating art for art’s sake versus for profit and the enjoyment of others. There’s a balance of course. You want to do what you love, but you also need to make a living. Carolyn struggles with this. I won’t give away the plot, but it’s a journey worth taking–as she discovers on the island of Summerwind, Maine.
My journey parallels Carolyn’s plight. I write for enjoyment, but I also write for others and give them what they want to read.
Unlike Field of Dreams, you can’t just build it and expect people to come. That only works in the movies.