Ah, those glorious first years as a writer, rushing to the keyboard to create characters and record your ideas. Eagerly, you plot, revise, edit, and finally publish your first book.
Every word seems magical, and every sale a miracle!
Already you have come to realize how much work it takes to publish a book, but that doesn’t matter because you feel unbelievably energized, creative, and thrilled to share such a big part of yourself with readers.
This is indeed an exciting time. You are making your dream a reality!
This is the honeymoon period for writers, an exhilarating roller-coaster ride that plunges you into despair one moment and then returns you to the heights of joy the next. The highs seem higher, and the lows seem lower. Every feeling is fresh and, therefore, exaggerated. A bad review means death, and a good review means bliss.
People often say that the honeymoon period of a relationship lasts approximately two years (or less depending on the couple). During this time, we convince ourselves that our partner is the ideal mate, the perfect guy or gal for us. And we strive to be the perfect partner for our significant other too.
In the early days of publishing, it’s also easy to idealize. Even if you haven’t become a bestseller, you and your book have the support of your family and friends. People are excited to learn about your endeavor, and they want to hear all about it. You may get fan mail, but even the inevitable bad reviews contribute to the overall excitement of the time. Danger makes you feel more alive, after all.
During this period, you work all the time and yet never seem to get tired. You feel as if you could write and market 25 hours a day.
Coping with this Period
- Enjoy the excitement. Live in the moment and have fun.
- Remember the joy you experience so that you can recapture it in the future.
- Try not to focus on negative reviews. They seem horrid now, but eventually, the feeling fades.
- Don’t overdo. It’s tempting to do marathon writing sessions, but remember there’s real life out there. Live that too.
This honeymoon phase of the indie publishing journey will not last forever. As reality sets in, and life continues around you, your feelings of euphoria and plunges into despair will begin to even out. That does not mean that your passion for writing will necessarily fade. People who love writing will continue to love it, but they will not experience the extreme highs and lows with the same frequency as time passes. It’s just simple chemistry. Your body, mind, and emotions can’t sustain that sort of wild pace indefinitely.
And it’s a good thing. It’s exhausting to fly from one emotion to another all the time.
In the next installment, we’ll talk about the next phase of the writing journey: the second book.