Tomorrow, 10 September, will mark the one-year anniversary of the release of my debut novel, The Confessions of Adam. In recognition of this milestone, here are three take-aways from the experience.
- Involve Others. You will not be able to launch your debut alone, and you don’t want to. Engage the skills of others to help shepherd your book into the world. I enlisted an eager and willing team of friends with diverse skills such as event emcee, graphic designer, web plugin integrator, book club leader, and small business owner. Some of this was organic as I worked to create a local launch of the novel and let my needs be known, but in the end I had a base of people who were creatively engaged with me and vocal advocates for our unique effort.
- Keep Writing. It is critical that you start and make progress on your next project. You may find you’re consumed with the book you’ve finished and have stopped writing. This may seem prudent or even helpful in the short-term, but once the excitement wanes, you’ll be left only with the writing. Make sure it’s not a blank page. The writing is the only part of the process that you fully own. Keep doing the work. I kept writing. It became a solace.
- Tend to Everything Else. Over the last year I’ve seen voluntary and involuntary job change, the one-year anniversary of the death of my mother, the birth of my first grandchild, a close friend traverse cancer, and a global pandemic. The rest of life marches on even as this momentous goal you’ve worked toward for so long is realized. Give the people and events of your life their needed attention and consideration.
And remember to take a moment to enjoy it all. To use David Gibson’s phrase––life is gift, not gain.