How’s that for a title? But then, it’s not really a title so much as a statement of fact, a warning perhaps, that this post may be complete higgledy-piggledy, self-absorbed author neurosis. I had every intention of not subjecting you, great reader minds and esteemed unboxed writers, to the behind-the-curtains peek at my obsessive underoos. I had an entirely different blog charted out: a composed, erudite, literate essay on my three years of fictional archaeology while crafting the dual narratives of my forthcoming novel The Mapmaker’s Children.
But when I sat down at my computer to write, all I could think was, “Bollox, my book is coming out in a flippin’ week!” That’s 7 days, 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes, depending on your level of countdown compulsion. (I’ll let you guess what my craze-o-meter is set at.) I beat my knuckles against my keyboard for a few hours attempting to thump into existence the aforementioned essay when it dawned on me: This is Writer Unboxed. I am the definition of a writer come completely unboxed! So I’m giving it to you uncensored.
I would place the week before an author’s book publishes up there with weddings, house moves, and child births in the top most stressful events in an individual’s life. Why? Because the author has just spent God knows how long (4 years from idea to shelf for The Mapmaker’s Children) nurturing relationships in a story world, carrying the weight of the characters everywhere she goes, and feeling each kick and heartburn of the book’s gestational development. So in that sense, when release day finally arrives, she is the celebratory bride, the moving man, and the doting mother all in one. Sure, there are those who might find each of those singly enticing, but all three simultaneously? That’s a maelstrom of anxiety.
[pullquote]Publishing a book is like giving the world sudden X-ray vision. Everyone sees my inner bits and is invited to judge them.[/pullquote]
Being writers, there is also a general proclivity toward being an introvert. The spotlight is not our preferred modus operandi. I champion my quiet nest, my home comforts, my hours of makeup-less pajama parties of one. Publishing a book is like giving the world sudden X-ray vision. Everyone sees my inner bits and is invited to judge them. That’s the very nature of our business. A book is not merely a collection of words bound together in paper and glue. It’s an author extending herself to the universal reader population saying, “Here—I give you my creation. Please come, walk the streets I’ve created in this imaginary realm. Discover its nooks and crannies. Solve the mysteries. Love and/or hate its people. Love and/or hate the story. Love and/or hate me.” [Read more…]