The Shiny Gray Zone
As I’m writing this, the third installment of my faerie-apocalypse dark fantasy novel Nigh has just been released. I blogged and social media’d it all to heck, and I’ve double, triple, quadruple checked that everything works.
And now, aside from the early readers’ feedback, I sit in what I like to call the “Sparkly Gray Zone.” It’s that time where your readers will be enthusiastic about your book and love you to bits (you hope), share the word, and help you reach new audiences. That’s the sparkly bit. But it’s also before reviews come out, and you find out if they loved it or hated it (that’s the gray zone. I know you’d figured that out already, you clever reader you.)
I find the best remedy is focusing on promoting the new book while working hard on the next thing. Whatever that is. There’s energy and power in shiny new words, so creating helps distract a perhaps anxious mind. (What will they think? They’re quiet. They all hate it, don’t they? … Writers can be sooo annoying. Especially to themselves.)
But, here’s a funny thing I always forget to do: celebrate. Why don’t I take a moment to pause, reflect and think on where I’ve been, how the journey brought me here. After all, the book is out there, nekked and free. I raised it, fattened it up and sent it out into the world to roll around, make friends (and potentially get slaughtered. My poor baby). I should be proud of that accomplishment.
And I am! But writers are word junkies, always looking for the next writing fix. But sometimes it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come, how much you’ve accomplished. If you’re like me, you tend to focus on everything that needs to happen still. Everything you still want, because you’re an ambitious MoFo and you want to send out more nekked fat books into the world. And good for you.
But pause. Take a moment to celebrate. It doesn’t need to be big or expensive. It just needs to give you a moment to remind you of the journey, how awesome it is, how awesome YOU are, and to feel energized and ready to face the next challenge, as soon as you exit the Sparkly Gray Zone (which could turn into so many things. So many different potential zones.)
Enjoy. Take a moment. You did it. YOU are f*cking awesome. Drink your glass of wine. Toast your book.
And then dive right back in. The next project awaits you. Good luck, Word Warrior.
Author and Storyteller http://www.mariebilodeau.com