Since I’ve embarked on the road to publishing my stuff I’ve been gradually assessing what is needed to bring what I’ve written out to the world. To take the ideas that I’ve managed to squeeze out of my brain and onto the page (well, onto the screen - who uses paper any more?) and figure out how to turn them into books that I can share with other human beings. And what I’ve mostly been feeling can be summed up in one phrase:
Overwhelmed by the monster.
Ok, overwhelmed is not the only word that applies - elated, excited, anxious and curious also come to mind - but it’s a good way to describe the overriding reaction that I’m having to this new adventure.
I have a good handle on the actual writing - I’ve been doing that for years, and I’ve long ago conquered any fear that it might hold for me - and I think I have a fairly firm grip on the drawing part. The social media elements of promoting my books - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Linkedin - are each manageable, and don’t keep me awake at night, quivering with terror.
(What does keep me awake at night is when the thing that lives under my bed makes lip-smacking noises, and asks me to pass the ketchup, but that’s a subject for a different posting.)
I also have a good feel for what will be required to wrangle the book into publishable shape — editing, proofreading, beta-reading, formatting and the like - and I’m well underway toward designing a cover and writing back cover blurbs.
I’m starting to wrap my mind around what will be needed to sell the book. I’m building my webpage, researching Amazon and Kindle, planning launches, preparing the production of the audiobook, and looking into printing options.
I’m also ramping up my blogging, and researching what is required for vlogging and podcasting.
No, none of these individual elements scare me. Not on their own.
It’s when I look at them as one great mass, like a Frankenstein’s monster cobbled together from innocuous body parts, that they become overwhelming.
And there’s the secret to dealing with them. They aren’t a single huge terrifying entity looming over me and threatening to crush me. They’re all distinct, separate elements, and can be handled in small, manageable steps.
The monster isn’t as formidable if you can chop it into pieces, and deal with each of those bits on its own.
And the other thing that reduces the overwhelmingness of the process is that I’m not doing it on my own. My wife is with me every step of the way, and her presence keeps the fear at bay.