Published Emotions

In moving through the publishing process, it has been interesting to be aware of the emotions involved in each phase.

Frustration, of course.  Especially when dealing with computers, formatting, technical phrases that it’s assumed you understand.  Formatting alone is interesting because it appears each market has its own requirements.  Single spaces between sentences for e-books, starting a chapter half way down a page for the print version but not the online version…and so forth.

To frustration you can add nervousness, irritation (when you find typos after multiple readings and editing), laughter when your son has to explain something about computers that includes the rolling eyes of a teenager, and so forth.

Then there’s excitement.  Well, that’s been the interesting one.  When the proof arrived, my husband hugged it close with a huge grin.  Those friends who have edited versions since the beginning, like author Susan Schreyer and my poet friend Sabrina, are hugely excited.  But me?  Not so much.

It’s been kind of odd, and it wasn’t until attending the writer’s group last night that an explanation came forward.  I have been feeling almost a little blue, a little vulnerable (and I’m not a vulnerable type).  Here’s this story that has existed in my mind for a few years now.  The basis of the story was an unanswered question of my father’s which means that question has been around for many years, nagging me in the back of my brain where mysteries live.  And now all of a sudden, that imaginary world has taken form and is out there for everyone to see.  It’s no longer my private mystery to ponder, to change when I want, to spend time alone in, like a secret garden.

It kind of feels like those old high school stress dreams, where you dream about forgetting to get dressed before arriving in school.

I can understand that feeling of exposure, but what surprised me was that tinge of sadness.  Believe me, I’m ready for this story to be gone, out the door, leaving me alone so I can work on something else.  So where was the sadness coming from?

As my friend, another Lisa, said so succinctly at the writer’s group last night: postpartum depression.

Oh, did that make me laugh!  She’s so right.  The story lived inside, gestating, and is now in physical form, out in the world, and I’m holding the proof thinking, ‘is this it?’ ‘what do I do with it?’ and ‘this isn’t what I signed on for!’.

At least there’s no poopy diapers.

The photo below hasn’t much to do with the post other than I love the ocean and in this one there is this lonely little boat out there working it’s way home.


One thought on “Published Emotions

  1. I’ve wrestled with some of that let down, after working hard on a creative project, especially when I don’t have something new already waiting in the wings. I realize now how lucky I was that there were no poopy diapers.

    (I love that photo, too! It’s almost hypnotizing when it’s bigger.)


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