I decided to write this post because The Oaf Prince will be released this month. It has been a long journey bringing this novel to life and I think its one that many authors experience. Doubt is like an unwanted seed that can grow in the mind, watered by insecurities.
To me, this book will always represent a relaxed happiness. Summer stretching forever, in a time that I took off of everything just to write. School, work, and yes, even travel, were put aside. This was the ultimate treat that I could give myself. And I can say, the time was well spent with my family, my dog and two cats, and with my mother.
The story is a light-hearted comedy/romance about a prince, a kidnapping and a forced marriage to a male ogre. At the time, I wanted to experiment with a fun story and The Oaf Prince really helped me to identify my voice as an author and to identify why I loved to write in the first place.
Something happened to me though, in the process of completing the novel. It started with a whisper of doubt, maybe it was too much like this other story… maybe no one else would find it funny… maybe the characters were flat… the list went on and on.
I’m sure this sounds familiar to other writers out there. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to put the book aside, but low and behold, a year past, and then another. I would take it out periodically and edit it, but the doubt never went away.
To this day, I’m not really sure what happened. I have a guess though, that maybe the fear of putting The Oaf Prince out into the world, opened me up too much. It exposed me in a way that I have never experienced. After all, I have never had a full length novel published, and what I want more than anything is for this story to be read. I want it to make people smile and feel happy. What if it doesn’t? What if all I get is a few raised brows and a “she wrote that?” By putting it out there, I am asking for reviews.
I guess the fear of negative reviews might be part of the whole issue. I don’t bother reviewing books that I don’t enjoy. To be honest, I rarely even finish reading books that I don’t enjoy. But I do appreciate honesty. I want to be read and I want to continue to improve my writing. I want to grow as a writer. How else am I supposed to do that?
I guess that’s why I am now publishing The Oaf Prince. I chose to self publish with Amazon Direct (which I will soon write a post on) and finally open myself up to the experience of not only releasing this book, but self-publishing at the same time. I’ve been waiting for years, allowing doubt to fuel me, allowing doubt to keep my book sitting buried in a computer. Well no more!
To my fellow authors; lets be brave! Lets put ourselves and our words and our experiences out there and see what happens!
Today I set the release date and made the book available for pre-order. For the first time, my doubt has vanished. I am excited and most importantly, I am having fun.
Isn’t that the whole point?