In five days, my novella, Ferryman, will launch. It will be available in print and multiple e-formats. I will be delivering free copies for those who supported me in creating this book and those who are subscribed to my newsletter. It will be out in the world.
And yeah, that terrifies me.
Creation is a vulnerable process. If God himself can be criticized for his creation (does Idaho NEED this much winter?!) then so can I. But you know what? Bad reviews don’t scare me. Scorn and ridicule don’t really keep me up at night. What terrifies me is being ignored.
I have hopes for Ferryman. It’s a little book, but I’m hoping it will be a springboard for things to come. I want people to read Ferryman and get excited for everything else I want to write. I want them to subscribe to my newsletter to stay connected, to support me on Patreon to speed up the process of making new books, and to tell all their friends about Michael A Blaylock’s writing.
A bit of bad press can actually help me there. The occasional one-star review gives authenticity. A poorly-written criticism can actually spark curiosity. And if someone tries to ban a book, that just guarantees readers.
But ignorance kills the arts. If nobody reads Ferryman, they won’t subscribe, won’t support me on Patreon, won’t tell their friends, and won’t get excited for the next book, which will take even longer to put out. And if I can’t be people excited for a little 125-page, $3-or-free book, then how on earth will I get them excited about the full-length novels I want to write?
I feel utterly ignorant and incapable. I’ve learned how to put words together, how to make art itself, and I’m still learning, but connecting with other people? That’s never been my strong suit. I’m an introspective introvert, an analyst, not a people person. I like people, but I’m not fluent in them. What comes so naturally to others–both in people skills and business smarts–eludes me entirely. I don’t even know what it is I don’t know.
At this point, however, there’s nothing I can do. Ferryman is launching. People have funded it and it’s the best way I can think of to get hype for my writing in general. Something short, but strong. Small enough that I can give it away from time to time, or even permanently once I have income from other books.
I know, I know, I’m rambling, but this particular blog series is about the journey of being a creator, all the steps along the way. Right now, that’s fear, fear at being overlooked or ignored, to have a million words that nobody wants to hear, or to be so dense about marketing that I shoot myself in the foot.
At this point, all I can really do is pray. And seek answers.
Five days… Unless something happens Saturday, my next blog post will be announcing Ferryman’s launch. Sheesh. God, I could really use some help with this one. My dreams are on the line.
4 thoughts on “A Creator’s Journey #16–Scared Spitless”
Apart from the tiny few who experience instant success, I think we’ve all been there. It’s going to be an experience where people buy it but don’t read right away, read it but don’t review right away, etc. That’s why having your core readership of friends and family is so important. Even if they’re reading it because they’re your friends, they’re giving that much-needed attention.
But then, it means that every single individual who picks it up, every surprise review, gives you an incredible boost of motivation. A lot of times it doesn’t feel worth it, but still, it really is.
But hey you could be one of the lucky few. 😛 Either way! I look forward to its release and reading it! I’ll make sure to get through it before school starts again.
Prayers and more prayers; for peace, success, joy, acknowledgement, subscribers, future ideas.
Unless you really do want to go all out on marketing, and do nothing else for a few months, I encourage you to put this book out into the world — and then go write another book. Hovering over your sales receipts will make you miserable. Creating is what you want to do, so do it.
Once, an artist told me — create because you can, because you want to, and don’t try to make a living doing it, that might kill your creativity. Write what you want, when you want. If you’re good enough, you may get noticed. Or you may not. But why do you write in the first place? For fame? Or for yourself — and the glory of God?
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Some good advice. Thanks for that.