Well, here we are, folks. If you've been following this blog, you know that the deadline for the competition between Mercedes Yardley and myself has been pushed back to May 1st. However, this obviously doesn't mean that I've stopped working. As of this moment, Silas is sitting at 97,000 words. with my best guestimation, I'd say I have another 5000 words to write, perhaps a bit more. The problem with endings, at least for me, is that I start to fidget. I can see the finish line, and my knees start knocking and my fingers just want to fly away on the keyboard. I actually have to slow down - otherwise the words I put down will be, erm, less than satisfying.
That being said, I plan on finishing this rewrite (and it is a rewrite; much like The Rift, it's a completely different book than what it started out as) by Wednesday, April 6th. With this done, I can set it aside for a few days to hang out with Artwiffy, and then it's full-steam ahead on editing.
It's difficult to describe to you the feelings that go through my body when I'm this close to finishing a novel. It's a strange mixture of confidence and complete dread. One part of me thinks it will be the best thing I've ever written; another part fears it's absolute drek. It's these contradictions that I assume plague every artist in every medium...at least I assume so. I wonder if Stephen King or Clive Barker, upon finishing The Stand and Weaveworld, felt these same emotions. I'd love to one day sit down and talk to them, to my favorite writers in general, and discuss the amount of fear that comes with putting yourself out there.
Does the skepticism ever end? And if it does, are the emotions that replace it satisfying, or destructive? Just like with Silas, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
There are a great many advantages to self-publishing, as long as you're willing to put in a ton of work and are able to develop a vast amount of patience. However, once you obtain even the slightest morsel of success, you end up developing a certain mindset that can quite literally cause mind-numbing obsession. And this mindset is...
The sales of our books have skyrocketed (comparatively) of late. For the last week or so, we've been selling right around 40 a day. But on this particular Saturday, things have ground to a halt. Our sales rankings are climbing higher and higher, and along with that goes my level of panic. I have a great fear that one day everyone will look at my work and say, "Oh, that's right, he's no good," and everything I thought I've built will crumble. It's a dangerous thought process to have. I've been checking the KDP feed obsessively and pulling my hair out trying to figure out HOW OH HOW I will get everything on track. My stress levels are through the roof.
The thing is, deep down I understand that this is nothing but a hiccup, that if I simply take a deep breath and forget about the immediacy of success, everything will even out. We've put out a damn good product, after all, and I've always lived by the theory that the cream rises. And we're that cream. But this doesn't stop the fear, doesn't stop the self-doubt from infiltrating my every waking thought.
I've wondered recently if this is something that will ever leave me. I've wondered how I'd feel if (hell no-when!) I ever reach Amanda Hocking or JA Konrath levels of success. Will the doubt leave then? Will I finally be able to settle down and not constantly wonder if the next book will finally be the one that sends me down the eternal shitter where all failed authors land? Will I stop looking at my life with a soul-crushing fear of failure?
Somehow I doubt it. And there's that word again.
It keeps cropping back up.