Self-published novelist Arthur McMahon has given his very frank breakdown of how publishing his book didn’t rock his world. I was directed to discourse by GalleyCat who lead on his piece with their very apt title: “Publishing a Book will not Change Your Life“,
It’s a little depressing to see another writer’s take on it. Yet, looking at it logically, it must be true. Especially in the realm of self-publishing – where the only thing standing between being an unpublished novel and a published novel is a click of a button. *click* That’s it. No phone call from your agent, no exultant feeling of your manuscript finally being accepted by an old-school publisher, and the kudos and validation that I imagine one would have from your book being accepted by a gate keeper of the literary world. Not that the latter will ultimately change your life any more, but I imagine that the elation would at least be longer lived. Perhaps.
I suppose it’s much like New Years Eve parties, or an over-hyped movie, or first-time sex. There are so many expectations caught up in it, that it can’t help but disappoint. Perhaps we can only hope to be mentally braced for that scenario when it finally comes. That publishing your book won’t solve your woes, it will just be a very awesome milestone that you can place in your trek through life. Expecting more from it may just be setting yourself up for a fall, for which Arthur McMahon has put himself forward as a case study. I do really respect and admire his candour on his experience, his closing words on the subject as follows:
I wonder if this is why so many authors are depressed drunks. Completing a novel didn’t change my perception of life like I expected it to. It filled no gaps in my soul or heart, and may have in fact widened them.
Still, onward I go.