Sunday, December 21, 2008

Okay, I'm Drunk

I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do, here, so I reckon I'll just write drunken gibberish until someone tell me to stop it and not be so silly.

So, I'm a published author, apparently.

For those who don't know, my first novel was published in October, and since then my life has been a roller-coaster of literary events, signings, highbrow parties, award ceremonies, groupies and massive royalty cheques.

Oh, wait. Sorry, that was that dream I had.

The reality is that, from my POV (sorry, writery term, there), here's what happens when you get published - Absolutely very little.

Publication is the goal; it's the ambition, fantasy and ultimate validation all writers seek. It's the thing that will tell us we're not kidding ourselves, that we're not just pretending. That we actually can do this thing.
And it does do that, it's true. I sort of feel like I can sort of write, a bit, sort of, now.
So that's good.
However, I felt that already, thanks to the many wonderful writing and critique groups I've been part of for the last few years.

So, what has being published added to that?

Not a hell of a lot, to be honest. I know there are people I've never met who have/are reading my work, and that's wonderful. I love the idea of that.
I hope, some day, to find out what they think of it, good or bad (go easy on the bad, though, I'm fragile).
So far, everyone I know who's read WYLMT has liked it. But I know them, so that's not a value judgement, no matter how genuine their comments might be.

If this post has a point (and I can say with a fair degree of certainly that it doesn't), it's to say that publication, while wonderful and empowering, doesn't mean that much, really. Life hasn't changed, either for better or worse - I still need to go to work, and walk the dog, and do the dishes, and pay the gas bill and everything else we all have to do, every day. Literally NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

It's turned out that what's happening in my day to day life is far more important than what's happening in the fictional world of fiction. Yeah, I hope I might make a (very) few quid come royalty time, but I'm not putting my life on hold till I find out.
I'd rather it was a surprise if it happens, just like every other good thing is.

Told you I was drunk.