For every aspiring author like myself, coming up with a polished manuscript is the ultimate challenge since day one. After all, those sleepless nights of hard work and not to mention, the bottomless coffee in order to extend your awakening-lifeline support just to finish a chapter of your book embarked as your stepping stone of achievement. You just can’t believe that finally you’ve made it. When you feel and believe that you did everything that you could, you can say to yourself, “This is it. My characters are ready.” You don’t have to worry yet if only few will know about it, but significantly, it is the idea that your book will be released and available anytime soon for public reading. This idea itself will set the author’s emotion to spin around inside a roller coaster ride.
I just finished polishing my manuscript and I am now on the process of formatting before publishing. And the fun part was, I didn’t expect that the formatting process can be that challenging. A simple manipulation of the word template triggered the sweats on my forehead to fall to my cheeks effortlessly. While doing the formatting, emotions started to become apparent to my senses. But I guess it’s pretty normal to feel this way because coming up with a book is pretty close to delivering a baby. You are giving life to your characters. They will not be hidden in the womb. The readers will get to know them and call them by their names. How cool is that?
Just like an expectant mother who is experiencing a close interval of contractions, mixed emotions played its part. From what I am experiencing right now, I can identify some.
It’s completely beyond compare. Once a writer embraces his passion in writing, he can’t just stop. The ultimate goal is to see the book coming to life by getting it published. And when you get there, you can’t help but to feel excited. You can shout it out to the world with joy and pride that you did it and you are now a published author. For sure, the feeling would be priceless. Regardless of which road you took when publishing, be it the traditional or self-publishing way, the fact that you are giving birth to your book is simply outstanding. And soon, I will give birth to my debut novel. Whatever it will become, I will always be a proud author, a proud mother to all my characters.
- The pain of sacrifice.
Embracing a passion and see its positive outcome isn’t a walk in the park. It comes with hardship and sacrifice to achieve what you truly desire. We are not a machine. Writers are ordinary people who have chosen to isolate themselves at times inside a room and skipped meals just not to get disrupted while on the verge of writing a very important scene of the story. The writer is so hooked up that he forgot he has a life waiting outside his writing room.
Lately, I am occupied with the formatting of my manuscript in order to incorporate the requirements prior to publishing. At times, I lost track of time and didn’t notice that it’s 2:00 in the morning and I need to get some sleep before my alarm clock will wake me up at four. And then I’ll have to prepare the breakfast and travel the road going to my office at six-thirty. It’s a painful process, but like they said, “Time’s definition of coal is diamond.”
I just finished formatting my debut novel and very soon, it will be published. As much as I am excited to finally deliver it, I cannot deny that I have fears—it made my stomach churn every time I entertain it. Undeniably, I have questions that lurked inside my head. What if the readers find my story boring? How would I react if I happened to bump into their negative reviews and comments while I search something on google? Will the readers like the story? Are they going to get my next book? These are just some of the questions that are bothering me lately, especially now that the publishing date is getting closer. I told my friends about this and their advice was to never mind those. Fight it. Fears are meant to be felt to keep the balance. Without it, we cannot harness excellence in whatever we do. Fear is our challenge. We have to fight it. So what? If one or two readers hated our work and write negative reviews about it, we have to remember that these few are less compared to the number of people who believed in our potential and respected our hardship. So whatever we feared, we must conquer.
It is inevitable that at times, things don’t turn out to what was expected. Like what I have experienced earlier. A simple submission of an application form online for my novel cannot be completed because the site redirected me to a blank page after I hit the Submit button. It made me clueless on what to do next. I was left hanging with the question popping in my head, “Is my application successfully processed or not?” In the end, what was left to do is to email their customer support and send inquiry to verify whether my application was successfully submitted or not.
With this experience, I can say that frustration is messing up with my excitement—fighting which one could prevail. I was too excited while filling up the information required in the form. The smile on my face can’t hide that. But when that blank page started to come out, frustration took over so easily. But it’s part of the deal, right? I have to put leverage to my feelings.
Writing a novel is an amazing journey. This salad of emotions that I am experiencing right now is completely immeasurable. I am right to chase my dreams and embrace my passion. I wouldn’t feel all of these if I allowed my doubts to keep my thoughts about my capabilities and hide it in a box. The experience itself is priceless.