In less than two weeks, I will formally release Exodus: Book One of The Fundamentalists to the world after 19 years. When I think about it my back gets tight, my spirits lift, and my mind feels like it is about to drop down a 300 foot roller coaster slope.
I admit it. I’m excited and afraid at the same time!
It’s been a long time since I felt like this, perhaps dating back to November of 2007 when I released my first book Now Is Gone.
Yet this one is different. When you vest years of your life sporadically in a creative work spanning three decades, well, let’s just say there’s a little more emotion involved. I think the prior years of blogging and business book writing made me ready for this.
Ironically, I have more fear of the book being successful than failing.
Don’t get me wrong. Will it hurt when critics slam the book? Yes, but I won’t overreact (at least I think). I’ve learned my lessons with past efforts. I was much better about Marketing in the Round criticisms.
Would it suck if the book doesn’t take off? I don’t think so. For me, this is a cathartic publishing experience, the release of a piece work long held within. The effort embraces my true desire to write fiction, not marketing books. No, simply publishing this book is a victory.
Instead my fears wander towards the outcomes of success. Things like possible blow back from the Christian Right, death threats, and all sorts of first world problems that I really have no right to dwell upon. Tor Books is not banging on my door asking for the rights to the whole trilogy. Hell, they don’t even know who I am.
Though the mind dallies, I return to the tasks at hand and focus on the next right thing to bring the book to market. Though that youthful giddy feeling has arrived, it’s about execution now.
Remove expectations, act, and let the results happen as they should. And enjoy the ride. Firsts happen less and less frequently as you get older, and that’s what makes them so special.