Dang it: I published a book and did not become A Cool Author

Writing

People are always surprised when they find out that I have published a book. I say “find out” because I don’t really drop that in conversation – it is rarely relevant. I also have a lot of complicated feelings about my book. Let’s try to explore that for a bit.

First of all, the book I published was a nonfiction book and was created primarily out of spite. I was frustrated by the lack of help with essay writing in my high school, so I decided to something about that – and someone actually wanted to create a book out of this, for some godforsaken reason.
That is all good and cool, but not exactly how I imagined my debut as an author would be. I’ve dreamt of publishing an actual book since I was 10 years old (and sent in the most horrible manuscript to a publishing company) and I always thought it would be a cool, original novel. My own characters, universe, everything.

I always had the idea that the book would be “show, don’t tell”. If people saw the value of the book, they would buy it. Well, guess what – if people don’t know the book exists, they won’t buy it! And I am absolutely horrible at marketing, I’d admit to that straight away. I made the facebook page, made some posts, but I was absolutely clueless. I did not hear a word from the publishing company either (more on those people later on), so I felt alone with a book and embarrassed to scream about it.

Most shocking of all, somehow, you just don’t magically turn into a new person once a book has your name slammed on it. I didn’t have my life more together – now people just think I do if they don’t know me. I didn’t magically become a mysterious Cool Author with a pretty notebooks, clean computer screen and a coffee cup by my side, while the dough was just rolling in, along with the fans and facebook likes.
If that had happened, I would probably also have been mortified and never gone outside my room again, but I did perhaps expect that my perspective would change a little with a book. I would have more confidence in my skills, maybe – because, ya’ know, I published a book! Instead, my gallopping Imposter Syndrome has never been worse. Because now I have a book out there and people can read it. And judge it. And think about me what they want, because I put myself up for this. No inner zen, no more coolness, just the same me. Now with a book that pops up if you google me. Who would have thought that I didn’t magically undergo a transformation overnight?

Now, it might sound like this is a long blog post about whining and feeling sorry for myself. I am not, just very entertained about how I thought it would be versus how it actually turned out. I would not even say that I preferred it in any other way. I helped people – I know, because they have reached out to me. They have told people who told people who told me that they enjoyed the book. Someone came to get their book signed by me and I will carry that memory forever in my heart. A lot of people want to write a book, but not a lot of them ever end up having a book in their name – I am very grateful that I had that chance and also could help some people along the way. How awesome is that? It is the best kind of win-win. And now, almost a year after publication, perhaps also a bit more realistic kind of win-win.

The book has brought in a lot of good things, also a lot of worries. I still feel weird talking about it. I have a book, but please don’t talk about it, you know? It makes me sound better than I am and that makes me uncomfortable.
But it is there. It is not going away. And even if it is a bit complicated, then it is an achievement to be proud of. If I can sit down and write enough pages for a book once, I could probably write something else, something different. And if not, well, at least I gave a helping hand to a couple of high schoolers out there.

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