An Up & Down Update

Untitled 22Over a week ago I admitted to being a writer, provided as evidence the reveal of a shiny new book cover that is to contain a collection of short fiction. The update is that I continued to struggle with formatting issues, in my ineptitude too ridiculous to discuss. Now I am somewhat less inept. I also found more editing and revising to do, the net result being further delay to completion of the publication of this collection. So still I wait.

I am not sure exactly what it is I wait for. A book, available to any and all…

I can tell you how the waiting goes, what it is like. The cliché simile might be a seesaw or a yo-yo, ups and downs. I vacillate between pride and paranoia, delight and dread. It is exciting to know that soon I will have a book out in the world; it is also extremely frightening. Maybe it isn’t good enough; maybe the stories should have remained as my private little time takers, a hobby tucked away in my computer. Bad reviews? They will no doubt be written and will no doubt be warranted; they will confirm my own doubts.

If I judge this book by its cover, I am more confident. I enlisted Tim Barber of and was very impressed with the process and the result. When I remember that many of the stories debuted at ShiftnShake and received encouraging comments I dare to hope that a wider audience might enjoy them. If I remember that I wrote these raw and for myself, and that the rest doesn’t really matter, I relax a bit. If I look at it as an exercise and learning experience then I have nothing to lose. I have yet to articulate what it is I hope to gain. (Sorry, Charli, I didn’t do all my homework.)

Maybe I hope to gain some credibility as a writer, beginning with myself. I have self-published two other books and I also have a bad habit of downplaying them; just silly poems; just chickens; just for fun; just self-published. This book feels different, and not just because it is prose instead of poetry. I can’t so easily laugh this one off, will not be able to hide behind humor. This book will want to be defended, not dismissed.

What have I done?

Still, let’s get rid of those old playthings, that seesaw and that yo-yo, replace that simile. Yes, there are ups and downs, but it’s more like that terrain called rollers, repeated ups and downs that I enjoy encountering on my bicycle. Some riders are cautious going downhill then complain at every uphill. But if every time you crest one hill you tuck and take advantage of your downhill momentum you are propelled well into the next uphill, minimizing its impact on your progress. Not to be dismissive of the ups and downs, but rollers are kind of fun. And any day is a good day for a ride.

On your left!

25 thoughts on “An Up & Down Update

    • Thanks for sharing on The Write Stuff! Lovely to see you there.

      It may or may not help to know this, but every single fear and doubt and second thought you are going through has been traversed by each of us with every book we publish. I don’t say that to cause you to dread your next endeavor, but rather to let you know you’ll live through these feelings and be able to write again. Ask yourself a couple of questions. Has your writing been true to you and to your own heart, and written because you want to touch the hearts of others? If you can say yes to that, I suspect you have a winner. And judging from the cover (which I do all the time, like many other readers), you are off to a great start. It’s beautiful. I have no doubt the words within will be beautiful, too.

      Three cheers for following your dream! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ha! Thank you and don’t worry, I am not that crippled by dread. It comes and it goes but I am tucked low, attacking the hill. Most of the time I know there’s some good stuff inside that cover. These stories wanted to be written, and I think they now want to be read. Surely I cannot deny their wishes.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. hey, don’t think you have some sort of monopoly on self doubt and schizophrenia. I’ve got shares – heck I helped list the whole dang edifice on the stock exchange of despair (it’s doing well, btw, buy now while stocks take a look at themselves and sigh).
    I’ve read your stuff; it’s fab QED the book’ll be fab. That’s it. The last warranted compliment you’ll get here. Publish it; we want to buy it. You know your public is right.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having had a sneak peek, I say with confidence, these stories are out for a joyous ride seeking readers worldwide. Go for it. Your books of poems are fab, your short stories is a book to grab. Self-doubt, that’s just par for the course. Appreciate it for what it’s worth, then let it go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You speak to/for so many of us! And I love reading the comments of others here who say what I was going to say. Take “Just” out of your vocabulary. If you’re writing from your heart, all is good. Once you release your words/stories to the world, don’t hold on. Smile, and write the next one. Your post here gave me pause, remembering how I felt when I (self)published my first book after reading all the pros and cons of Indie publishing or using an agent (and yes, I had an agent). Self is the way to go. That way, you can publish how you want, what you want, and feel the full joy of the endeavor from beginning to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Outing After Ever | ShiftnShake

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