I spent the year of 2012 finishing up my novel. I dreaded finishing it because after having done this a few times, I know that finishing a book also means finishing this part of the relationship. I am, in short, bereft at the completion of a book. I miss spending daily, intense time with my characters, I miss the story, I miss the puzzle of it all, I miss the absorption in a fictional world.
But besides all this, I also dreaded publishing. Anne Lamott says, and I am inclined to agree, that publishing is something you will have to recover from. My recovery has, in the past, taken the form of years of not writing. Clearly I needed some way to make publishing my book a process that fits more with who I actually am. I needed a new experience.
It took me some time to finally decide to self-publish. Actually it took a very generous offer from a friend of mine to walk me through the process and publish on her imprint. It’s scary, and exhilarating. The first thing I had to do was tell my agent. I expected her to try and talk me out of it, to try and coerce me into traditional publishing, but the first thing she said after I told her was, “I don’t blame you.” Followed by, “You’ll do well.”
I got off the phone and cried.